Our first task of the day was to go and visit the National Waterways Museum which opened at 10.00am.
Docked within the confines of the museums ground was this delightful boat called Queen Boadicea II. What was very interesting was that she saw action in the Second World War as one of the Dunkirk Little Ships. She saw action in Dunkirk harbour where she evacuated many stranded soldiers. After the war she returned to passenger service on the Thames. She then retired to Gloucester where she continues to work as a pleasure craft for the museum.
We found this signpost intriguing, considering that we had been to the Falkirk Wheel in May which was at the beginning of our trip this year.
It is great how they have preserved a lot of the old equipment around the various quays to remind you of what the area was all about. One comment though is that there are so many things that are trip hazards. Luckily for us we have still both managed to stay upright.
It was then time to head out of the quays area and down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal towards a highly recommended place called Frampton-on-Severn. This was of course after we had done the usual rewatering, de-rubbishing and emptying black buckets – TMI.
You know how we have mentioned that we often see some unusual things on the canals – well here is a prime example. Why one might build something like this is unfathomable to us.
We are now at a place called Saul Junction. Saul Junction is where the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal crosses the line of the earlier Stroudwater Canal, the only crossing of two independently owned canals in the country. The Stroudwater Canal, opened in 1779, allowed barges to carry coal to the cloth mills of the Stroud Valley.
What we want to do is give you an idea where we currently are now after leaving Worcester 48 hours ago. As we have been travelling downstream on the River Severn, we have been covering much greater distances than we normally do.
The other interesting observation is that we are now a long way south and on a parrallel with Oxford. Wouldn’t it be great to have a canal that went across to Oxford. Well……
.. there use to be a canal there. Near the end of the brown line delineating the Sharpness Canal we are presently on, you will see some black arrows heading off right. This is the old canal which use to hook up at Lechdale which is where the source of the Thames is (we will also be heading to Lechdale later on). At Lechdale, it then becomes the Thames River. Of course it was one of the many canals that were abandoned but there are plans to reopen in. It will not be in our life time though. It goes through the area called the Cotswolds, so if they did ever get it going again, it would indeed go through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.
The canal is currently following very close to the River Severn and we are almost parrallel with the Severn Estuary which flows into the Bristol Channel.
After a short wander you can actually see the Severn River as it makes its way to the Bristol Channel which is not that far away.
Once the heat had gone out of the day, we walked the 20 minutes into the town to have a look around.
There is a large village green, 22 acres (8.9 ha) in size and reputedly the longest in England.
Each village seems to have it’s longest, widest, quirkiest or just some weird claim to fame.
We both felt it could improve its claim by adding the neatest village green by giving it a damn good mow.