*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Frampton-on-Severn to Saul Junction.

Hi Folks.

We said goodbye to our overnight mooring at Fretherne swing bridge and set off on a very short jaunt to Saul Junction. Having gone through the swing bridge, we set off past the old Cadbury factory.

The Cadbury's factory near Fretherne Bridge was established in 1916. Ground cocoa beans and sugar were blended with milk collected from local farms, and the mixture was baked to form chocolate crumb. This was taken by narrow boat to Bournville for final processing. I assume the cocoa beans and sugar arrived by ship at Sharpness, and were either delivered directly to the factory, or transferred into barges at Sharpness for shipment to the Frampton Factory.

As throughput increased, the huge concrete silo was needed to provide additional storage for the crumb. The factory closed in 1983, but the wharf area is now a small industrial estate.

Swing bridge two for the day was Sandfield swing bridge, which was opened for us and another boat to go through.

We stopped before the Saul swing bridge to empty both our toilet cassettes. Keith then radioed the bridge keeper at Saul Junction to let him know we were coming.
We moored up just past the bridge on a nice mooring. Just as Keith and I were settling down with a coffee, there was a knock on the boat it was Gwilym off working boat Manchuria, we stood nattering to him when Dick and Sue who have NB Frog 2 came along and said they read our Hadar blog . It was lovely to meet and chat to them and we hope to see them on the water sometime, because at the moment their boat is having a new engine fitted. As everyone went on their way, we decided to set off on a walk down the Stroudwater Canal. We locked up the boat and off we went.
The first sign of the Stroudwater Canal is the disused lock. We then followed a footpath, which took us down beside the River Frome, which was incredibly clear and well stocked with fish. At times I thought we would need a machete to get through, so it is clear this path does not get used much. It was full of butterflies, bees and birds.
The Stroudwater Canal down to the River Severn is disused, but still has a huge amount of charm. Even though no boats have used this stretch of the canal for many years it is now home to the wildlife and if I had been quick enough I could have posted a photo of a Grass Snake which I saw basking in the sun.
We passed by The Ship Inn which sits right on the edge of the Stroudwater Canal and is pet friendly. There are some lovely canal side cottages, but as the canal is now disused it is hard to see them as canalside anymore. We reached the end of the canal and looked out over the Severn Estuary. I could wave at our Welsh neighbours had there been anyone on the other bank.
St. Peter's church, on the banks of Severn at Framilode, was built by Francis Niblett in 1854.
It is a wonderful example of early Victorian church design, with an extremely beautiful painted roof.

Saul village is very pretty many of the houses date from the 1900 century. Dove Cottage dates back to 19858. Many of these homes were then used by sea going families. of course there are also a lot of newer homes as well, giving the impression of a prospering community.
Many watermen and their families are buried in Saul churchyard, if your into history.
We were soon walking through Saul Village where we came upon St. James the great Church. it was ,mentioned in 1140, having been built by the Monks of Standish as a chapel of ease. Many of the grave stones have referrals to the sea. We got chatting to a villager who was born in the village and has never left, she was telling us that the entrance to the church has restored recently when the woodwork was striped of its black paint. As you can now see you can see the wonderful Oak it is built from. We walked up through the village to Sandfield swing bridge where we went into The Stables Cafe for lunch and a pint.
We sat out on the balcony over looking Sandfield swing bridge to eat lunch, but that soon changed as the rain began to fall, so we retired to the inside to eat lunch and enjoy our pint of Old Speckled Hen. The lunch was good value for money and the service was very good.
After a lovely lunch we strolled back along the towpath to Saul Junction.
At Saul Junction is the home of R.W Davis boat building, who has been at Saul Junction since 1887, there is also a rather picturesque cottage at the Junction which once housed the canal company’s toll collector for boats entering the Stroudwater Navigation. After that it became the accommodation for the British Waterways bridge-keeper. The bridge-keeper's office is attached to the end of the cottage. Where the bridge keeper was seen doing his book work today.
Back on board Paddy and Marmite were keen to exit the boat, so all doors were opened. The TV aerial is up and we have a good signal. We will be staying for a couple of day, so we can walk the other part of the Stroudwater Canal which is being restored.

Chat soon xx

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