Friday 27 September 2013

The Severn

Tewkesbury to Worcester visitor moorings : 16 miles, 4 locks
To date : 769 miles, 484 locks

A day late with this post!

We woke to a misty morning at Tewkesbury and were ready to go a little earlier than usual.  As it turned out there were two locks of boats waiting to go down onto the Severn ahead of us so there was a bit of waiting around to do.

The lock-keeper was a helpful fellow and it was nice to not have to do the work.  He mentioned to Carol that he'd only had 2 days off in the last 18 months...... he doesn't like other folk operating "his" lock.  He gave us some helpful advice from the lockside as we headed out.  I got a couple of photos of the stranded narrowboat as we cruised past.  It has been their for 18 months and they're unable to find the owner.  I guess nobody's going to want to pay to have that boat moved.

We followed the lockies instructions and swung wide at the junction with The Severn until we could see Mythe Bridge.... to avoid a sandbar.  The river is wide compared to the Avon and rather a boring days cruising.  The banks are high and with the the foggy old day we had it wasn't too exciting.  We passed beneath Thomas Telford's Mythe Bridge.  We saw the "gravel barges" the lock-keeper had told us about..... first one low in the water being loaded up.... then one coming towards us quite high in the water.  It turned behind us to go in for a new load of gravel.  A little further along was the unloading dock.  The gravel was being dumped into a hopper and then up a conveyor belt.  Interesting.

We planned a stop for a browse and lunch at Upton upon Severn.  As we neared the mooring spot we could see there was nothing free.  Barry and Carol got grounded going too close to the edge but managed to move off again to breast up with a moored boat.  We went beyond the bridge where we saw a fellow out on his boat.  He was chatty... we'd seen nb Belgium back at Pershore... so we breasted up to them and went off to explore the town.  We didn't want to take too long with a few hours still ahead of us but it was worth the stop.

We stumbled upon an antique store that had a lovely pair of lamps.  Somehow we emerged from the store with a cardboard box in Mick's arms.  They're heavy and they'll have to go in our suitcase when we go home!!

I worked for a good couple of hours of the Severn cruise.  There was nothing to see anyway.  Mick did all the steering today so I could work.  We cobbled together a stool tall enough so he could sit for a while.  Eventually we reach the lock before Worcester and boy was that a huge lock.  It was, in fact, a pair of locks.  The one on the left was absolutely enormous but the gates of the right hand one opened and even that was daunting enough. 

Negotiating the turn off the river onto the canal wasn't easy.  There's no big sign pointing the way and we didn't know if it was a manned lock (Barry and Carol had once done this coming from the canal onto the river and they thought it was) but when we arrived it appeared nothing was happening up there.  We signalled to Barry to go onto the landing stage and we'd breast up.  It was nice to be on the canal again and although the gates on the two locks were big and heavy, the paddle winding wasn't bad at all.

We moored up at the visitor moorings.  Diglis Basin looks like a nice spot and there's plenty of apartments overlooking the canal.  We put of exploring until morning.

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