As planned we were up early on Friday ready for the lock keeper opening the Avon lock at 8am. We were the first boat through. There is a short stretch to negotiate then a right turn onto the Severn river.
We were now on the Severn river and heading for Worcester. We had planned that the trip would take approx 6hrs. The weather was another glorious day, we have been so lucky this summer. The photos that follow are of our Severn trip.
After a while the river was becoming a bit boring (like a motorway with not much of a different view).
As we headed for the Diglis river lock I phoned ahead to the lock keeper. He had seen us coming, and we had another narrowboat behind us at this point. He advised we enter the right hand lock, and keep to the right. Sounds simple enough, except as we entered the lock the flow of water through the leaking top gates pushed the bow towards the right, and I couldn’t reach the chain to get the bow rope wrapped round quick enough. Charlie had the stern secure, but I was floundering. The lock keeper advised we get over to the right, which we did and the second boat entered alongside. I wish we had got photos of this bit of the adventure, as the lock is one of the deepest in the country. It certainly scared me. The gates are automated, and once the water started to flow the lady on the boat alongside couldn’t hold her bow and it swung towards us. No harm done, and I was just glad when we reached the top and escaped. The next locks would take us back onto the Worcester and Birmingham canal, but the other end to where we had started after leaving Birmingham. The Diglis canal locks are double and there are two of them, luckily there were lock keepers and a hire boat had many crew so I stayed on board. The locks take the boats up to the canal basin, where there are boatyards and a marina. The lock keeper advised us to moor past the bridge because there had been trouble with kids shooting the windows of narrowboats with air rifles. This made us feel quite uncomfortable I must say, but we needed to stop as we had travelled long enough; the journey having taken the 6 hours we had estimated. Saturday we moved along the canal through two more locks, and moored nearer to the area that would take us into the city centre. We wanted to take a peak and look around the cathedral.
Architecturally it has been described as one of England’s most interesting. The first cathedral was founded in 680. St Oswald then built another cathedral in 983, and established a monastery attached to it. St Wulfstan began the present building in 1084, replacing the earlier cathedrals.
During Anglo Saxon times, Worcester was one of the most important monastic cathedrals in the country. It was e centre of great learning which continued into the middle ages. Worcester’s Benedictine monks went to university and studied a range of subjects such as theology, medicine, law and astronomy. Some of the medieval textbooks survive in the cathedral library today.
The monastery continued until 1540 when (you guessed it), Henry VIII dissolved it. Some of the monks becoming the first dean and chapter.
The cathedral was badly damaged in the Civil Wars, and as a result major rebuilding was required after the Restoration of Charles II.
From the late 17th and 19th centuries there were campaigns to restore parts of the cathedral, but the Victorians from 1854-75 carried out the largest of these.
Sir Edward Elgar performed in the cathedral many times at the Three Choirs Festival concerts. The cathedrals attractions include King John’s tomb, Prince Arthur’s Chantry, an early 12th century chapter house, medieval cloisters and Victorian stained glass. There was a charge for taking internal photo’s which is why we have none. There has also been major restoration work from 1988-2012. It was a lovely cathedral, and well worth a visit. We had a walk around the shopping area afterwards.
There are many museums and places of interest, but we have declined them on this visit.
On cooking dinner on Saturday afternoon our gas bottle ran out. We carry 2, but both were now empty. We hadn’t bought gas since the last bottle had too high a neck and didn’t sit in the gas bottle locker properly. I knew it was going to run out soon, but hoped it would have lasted until we got to Droitwich Spa marina. Luckily we were moored about 10 minutes away from Worcester marina, so after a phonecall to check they had gas, we set off with our trusty trolley to get a new bottle. On the way up the towpath we met a boat called The Bath Tub, with Simon and Karen, whom we had met on the BCNS Explorer cruise back in June. We had a quick chat as we needed to get the gas bottle before the marina shut; and they were going down to the river for the weekend. It transpires they moor at Droitwich Spa marina so we may see them again.
Sunday we set off to find a more rural mooring. We were getting bored with the concrete jungle view. The weather started off ok, and Charlie and I took it in turns to do the locks, which makes life a bit easier. All was going well until Tolladine Lock 10, when the heavens opened and we got soaked. Too late for coats and umbrella’s. Now it was time to stop as I was wet through and starting to feel cold and miserable. So we stopped for the night just below Offerton locks.
Monday being bank holiday there was a little bit more boat traffic, mainly with hire boats getting back to base. We went through the 6 locks at Offerton, taking it easy as the pounds inbetween the locks were very low. Sharing the locks again.
We stopped at Tibberton where there are 2 pubs. We took Izzy for a walk and ended up having a bevvy at the quieter of the 2 pubs, overlooking fields. The weather has calmed again and the hot weather continues. After dinner we spent the afternoon sunning ourselves on the stern deck listening to radio 2 playing the best 40 albums of all time; oh and having a few more bevvy’s!!
Today I took Izzy for a long walk first thing whilst it was still cool.
Awoke to mist so autumn is on it’s way. We will probably move along tomorrow to Dunhampstead, which will see us for a couple of days before the final move to the marina for Saturday. I need to do washing etc before our visitors arrive., but I will wait now till we are hooked up to electric and water. Our good friends from Cornwall, Amanda and David are coming for a couple of nights, and then taking us back to Cornwall on Monday. Today the water level on the canal is causing issues. Rain is desperately needed. We keep going up and down on our mooring, occasionally resting on the bottom. Done some brass cleaning this morning. Too hot to do much else now, though I’m not complaining.