Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tewkesbury takes its toll

I'll start today's write-up with the photo which came out best. This is Abbey Mill from Severn Ham. Tewkesbury Abbey is in the background on the right.

Now back to the journey. It took a long time to get down the two locks from Diglis Basin onto the Severn. There were two hire boats and a narrowboat-style plastic cruiser in front of us. The hire boats were in the top lock and the cruiser had tied up to the lock landing leaving us hovering as there was nowhere else to go. The hire boats emptied the lock, but then found that the intermediate pound was too low, so they stayed in the lock and refilled it, then emptied it again before leaving. Meanwhile I had managed to get off the boat and walked down to the bottom lock to set it, which none of the numerous crew from the hire boats had thought of doing. Eventually we were able to enter the top lock and start down. These two locks take a very, very long time to empty and fill. They must be the slowest on the entire system - are they? Only one bottom paddle was working on the bottom lock, which didn't help.

In the top lock
The cruiser was also going to Tewkesbury, so we shared Diglis Lock with them.

leaving Diglis Lock
The Severn was placid, the weather was bright, dry and breezy, the scenery changed just sufficiently to prevent it getting too tedious.

typical Severn scene
We passed a couple of bulk loading sites with boats in situ.

It looked like gravel or sand was what was being transported.

After passing a mooring opportunity at Upton-on-Severn we made the left turn onto the River Avon and tied up beyond the lock entrance without going up the lock. Having paid the fee (the toll of the title) to the lockie we walked into Tewkesbury and marvelled at the abundance of old half-timbered buildings.

There are lots of narrow passages called 'courts' or 'alleys' - this one led to the old Baptist chapel of 1655.

We went to a service of Choral Evensong in the Abbey, then ate at the Bell (a very ordinary roast meal) (the beer was good though - North Cotswold 4.0%) before continuing our exploration of the town.

Here's another shot of Abbey Mill.

Tomorrow I shall cycle back to Worcester to get the car, then we have some decision making to do. I'd quite like to stay on in Tewkesbury for a sacred music festival in the Abbey, but that would interfere with our cruising plans. And do we continue to pay for mooring or do we carry on to Gloucester and drive back for the festival? Or do we get a two-week Avon licence or even a 30 day licence?

To be continued ...

No comments: