Wednesday, 30 April 2014


I spent the morning exploring Tewkesbury and treated myself to a cooked breakfast (lunch really!).  Excellent value at £6, including a large pot of tea.
Very interesting town with many fine old buildings.

Very old house next to the Abbey

Building of the present Abbey started in 1102. Built to house Benedictine monks, the Norman Abbey was near completion when consecrated in 1121.  Of cathedral like proportions, it is reckoned to be one of the finest Norman churches in the country.  The beautifully decorated central tower is 46ft square and over 130ft high.

The vast cylindrical arches along the complete length of the nave.

 There are many highly decorated tombs.
And fantastic stained glass windows.

Threatened with dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1539, to save it from demolition the townspeople bought the Abbey for the princely sum of £453 and it became (and remains) the town's parish church.

The town is renowned for is the great number of tiny alleys leading off the main street leading to discreet cottages, gardens and private yards - and a tiny Baptist chapel and little burial ground backing onto the river.  I found them fascinating but they do not photograph easily.

 After stocking up on supplies (and some food), I bid farewell to Tewkesbury on a pleasant but hazy afternoon.
M5 crossing the river.

My moorings for the night at the 16th century Eckington bridge.
A fantastic structure and still carrying traffic (and traffic it was never designed for) after all these years!

After I moored I took James for a walk and noticed a couple in the adjacent picnic area and small car park.  The lady was in a wheelchair and seemed a bit distressed.  On my return they were still there and the man told me the story.  While parked and sitting at one of the picnic tables enjoying lunch a van had reversed into their car making it unusable. Fortunately they had recovery insurance but the tow truck which turned up did not have passenger accommodation - they were told to get a taxi back to their B&B and get reimbursement from the company.  Except they could not find a taxi willing to come and get them (it was pretty remote).  A phone call to the police was not much help and all they did was supply a number for a taxi firm - it was unobtainable!  The lady was in tears by now, worrying how they would get back - they had now been stranded for over 4 hours.  I supplied welcome cups of tea and fortunately I had a good internet connection and found a taxi firm willing to come and collect them.  A rewarding end to a lovely day.
Not a bad view to wake up to.

8 miles; 1 broad lock 
TOTAL:  221 miles; 77 locks (1 broad; 5 large)

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Severn

After a bit misty start I am on my way quite early and come across this interesting sandstone cliff which looks as though the caves may have been used for habitation at one time.

Nice day, if a bit hazy.

No shortage of expensive properties!

Approaching Bevere Lock

And looking back up the river to the lock and weir on the right.

Worcester Racecourse and a stop for lunch.


In 1651 Charles Stuart, after being proclaimed king at Scone, reached Worcester with his 17,000 strong army.  The Roundheads, under Cromwell, had much superior forces and Charles was roundly trounced and fled to France with a few followers.
The three bridges at Worcester - foot, rail and road

The Cathedral looms into view

Bun fight for lunch!

The Cathedral

Looking back

No shortage of churches

Junction with the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
Scene of times long gone

Diglis Lock - the small black board in the middle shows flood levels.  The highest recorded is 1947 but I wonder where 2014 reached?

New footbridge below the lock.

The twin Diglis Locks operate on a traffic light system

The River Teme joins the Severn

The Malvern Hills come into (hazy) view

There are lots of caravan and chalet parks along the banks

This must be a horse santuary - they kept up a canter alongside the boat for a long way

Very strange residence

Upton Upon Severn, where I had intended to stop.  There are not many moorings and it would have meant breasting up, which is a bit awkward with James.  No hardship as it is a lovely evening - I pour a whisky, put my feet up and press on.
Nice to see there is still some commercial traffic on the river.
 And arrive at Tewkesbury and Mythe Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in 1828 with its single 170ft cast iron span.

I had not really intended to spend only a day travelling this 29 mile stretch of the Severn but it was great weather and a lovely cruise.  The Severn is very pleasant but, as it is prone to flooding, it has many high banks and obscured views, with few villages near the river.

I turn onto the Avon and go through Avon Lock after paying my £60 license fee for up to 14 days - the Avon is not part of the CART or EA waterways and is run by the Avon Navigation Trust.

29 miles; 5 large locks  
TOTAL:  213 miles; 76 locks (5 large)

Monday, 28 April 2014


I travel the 3 miles to Stourport and am lucky to find one of the two visitor moorings in the basin free so stop to have a little explore.

James soon finds someone to play with - a French Bulldog.  They had great fun.

When James Brindley planned the route of the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal in the 1760's he chose to meet the River Severn near to its junction with the River Stour.  There was only a hamlet already there but as basins, locks, warehouses and cottages for the workers were built it quickly grew into the busy and wealthy town of Stourport.  The original two basins were expanded to five and it now provides a very lovely and interesting area and includes parks and a permanent funfair.

Attractive cottages leading down to the river
Entrance to the basin via 4 narrow locks.  Access can also be

It is such a nice area I decide to spend the night and after a little cruise up the river to the limit of navigation I moor up on the river just below the locks.
Mooring the next morning with a holiday boat entering the lock.

4 miles; 5 locks
TOTAL:  184 miles; 71 locks