Monday, 31 July 2017

Meeting Edward Elgar in a tight spot

This morning I cycled back to Worcester to collect the car while Jan toured Tewkesbury looking for OS map 150 (Worcester and the Malverns) for me. She found a not-too-old, good condition one in a second-hand bookshop, but it was too late. I had already set off on National Cycle Route 45 - big mistake. I should have just kept it simple and used the direct and ubiquitous A38 (it seems to go everywhere). As it was I tried using the directions from Google Maps on my phone, which led me at one point along an exceedingly muddy narrow track complete with horse droppings. I eventually reached the car and drove back to Tewkesbury where I found a side street with no parking restrictions. The car will stay there until we return by boat.

This was our peaceful mooring last night, with Healing's Mill in the background.

Nothing terribly exciting or noteworthy happened as we travelled down the Severn to Gloucester - until we met trip boat Edward Elgar. This was in the East Channel, a narrow section of the Severn, a mile above Gloucester Lock. The lockie had warned us it was on its way and mentioned that it might be a tight squeeze getting past. In the event we passed at a good point with plenty of room for both of us. If we'd been a minute ahead it would potentially have been awkward as there are some tight bends.

But our slowish pace (1100 rpm = 4.8 mph here) paid off as we arrived at the lock just as a boat was leaving. Having been warned about the stream pulling to the right across the entrance of the lock I aimed to the left. The flow obviously wasn't that great as I had to correct to the right myself before entering the lock.

The approach had given us a taste of the fine buildings to come; as we ascended the lock we found we were entering a cornucopia of large old warehouses.

We turned left immediately after exiting the lock and tied up on one of the floating pontoons. Jan spotted BCF stickers on a boat two away from us, so we invited ourselves round for a cup of tea on Pound Eater with Barry and Kate. It was good to chat to you, and thanks for the tea and biscuits!

We then went for a walk round Gloucester city centre and returned to the boat for tea. While Jan was preparing a chicken meal I walked round the docks and took this photo of our mooring. Jubilee is in the centre, the front bulkhead catching the light. That's the cathedral in the background.

After tea Jan joined me for another walk round the docks, and we witnessed a fine sunset over Sainsbury's car park.

As you do.

It looks like tomorrow we'll stay here and do the National Waterways Museum. And I have to cycle to Maplin to pick up a powerbank I've ordered.


Sarah said...

The A38 is Britain's longest A road, and runs between Mansfield and Totnes.

Adam said...

We loved Gloucester. And the trip down the G&S is pretty good too, with Sharpness a real highlight. You must visit the Purton Hulks, and walk round to see if there are any big ships in Sharpness Docks.

Halfie said...

Sarah, I encountered the A38 yet again today when I visited Maplin to pick up an order.

Adam, thanks, yes, the Purton Hulks are on the agenda.