Swanning down the Severn
Missed the Cleddau crew doing serious tourist duty in Worcester? Then go back to Thursday’s blog…
Friday June 10th, Worcester to Upton-upon-Severn, 10.5 miles, 3 locks
Friday’s events in bullet form:
• irked fisherman by reversing back past him to water point. “I might as well go ‘ome now”.
• watered boat; reversed across basin to top lock
• dropped down two locks to river
• proceeded 500 metres to Diglis Lock (went down through smaller of the two vast locks)
• continued 10 miles downstream to Upton-upon-Severn; stone reinforced banks, trees…
• moored on town moorings, far below town level, facing upstream (advisable); arranged washing to dry outside and inside and outside and inside of boat (sharp showers!)
• took bedding to launderette
• patrolled around Upton (friendly, quirky, big on music festivals)
• returned to boat; completed Thursday’s blog!
Calm weather certainly aided the marathon reverse today, first to the water point and secondly to the locks. Was Cleddau to be escaping from the clutches of the Midlands pirates who seem to infest these waters…? At Severn River level dozens of tiny birds (tits?) dashed and dived about between the two river locks. It was as if they too were relishing calm conditions and sunshine. As the boat progressed downstream the amount of stone support of the banks was quite noticeable, the stone usually being covered by water. Twice parent swans were seen protecting their tiny young; in one case a cygnet had hitched a lift on its mother’s back! The landscape slowly changes: the blood races with a glimpse of the Malvern Hill, for this is a sign that the Welsh border is not that far away.
Tied up at Upton before midday and time to explore: it’s a quaint but friendly little town. One wonders, has Godmanchester Guy ever patronised this railway model shop…? No-one could have been more open than the lady in the launderette, Upton born and bred but a one-time resident of Silicon Valley in California: “I was that mad woman who walked her children to school – nobody walks!” she told us. The town is flag-bedecked (“because we have either flags or flower baskets or Christmas trees.”) In the church is a remarkable structure, the Corona, seemingly loved and loathed in equal measure, seen by some as spirits, others as prawns, by Boatwif as the Crown of Thorns. The original church tower’s spire fell down; a cupola replaced it and the resulting structure is universally referred to now as the Pepperpot.
A mixed day, then, dominated by domestics (jobs, that is, not arguments!)
Tomorrow (Saturday) to Gloucester.
Footnote / bassnote: it is Friday night in a small markert town. The pub on the bank above the moorings seems to be holding an extremely loud disco… just what time is closing time in these parts…?!