Wow what a fantastic day.
It all began at 7am with the usual cuppa in bed. We did not have a strong enough signal for the TV, so there was no early news. Paddy got his walk, after he gingerly walked along the shaky pontoon. After his walk we made our way back to the boat and a woman in the pub asked "Are you staying today". I replied "No, we are moving off this morning", she said "Oh good, thank you". Now some people could have taken offense at her asking if they were going, but I happened to look in the pub and noticed the tables were all laid with tablecloths etc, so I realised that there must have been something important going on there later and maybe they needed the space on the pontoon.
When we set off it became clear that the boats we saw yesterday were all moored at The Lower Lode pub and had been camping there overnight. The Yew Tree was there destination for dinner. So it was just as well we had moved. We approached Upper Load Lock and waited our turn to enter, this took sometime as there were boats already in the lock to come down.
Continuing up the Severn we saw lots of fishermen bank side and on boats, there was either a competition going on or it was just their Sunday pass time. We passed under the single span 170ft cast iron Mythe Bridge built by Thomas Telford in 1828. The river is flanked by high banks and wooded areas. It is amazing to think that in 2007 all of this was under water. I got to take over at the tiller for a while, which was fantastic. I do love playing at the tiller.
I think we passed and were passed by boats of every size and description today, including this pair of tear a ways. They were kids and thankfully they were wearing life jackets, because at times I was sure one or both would end up in the water because of their antics. I am all for kids enjoying themselves, but at times they were a little dangerous.
Some would probably describe the River Severn as undramatic, but it does have a beauty all of its own and this is bore out when we reached Upton-on-Severn. The old church tower peering over the pubs which line the river announced that we were at Upton, now we did not expect to find a moorings, because this is a very popular place, but wooo hoo we were in luck, there was a mooring on the pontoon, just big enough for us to get into. Moored behind us was an old wooden boat, which the owner thinks was one of the Dunkirk Little Ships, the owner is still trying to clarify its status at that event. A beautiful boat and lovely owners, the gentleman's father had previously owned her, so she has quite a history.
After some lunch Keith and I walked up into Upton.
Many of the shops were shut because of it being a Sunday, but the pubs were doing a roaring trade with the weather being so nice. It is a pretty little place and I am so glad we got to stop here, because I had been hoping to see it this trip. Upton is not short on history, it was founded around 897. The Battle of Upton in 1651 during the Civil War saw 12000 men cross the river here along with Oliver Cromwell. The town has a distinctive tower and copper-clad cupola known locally as the Pepperpot and the only surviving remnant of a former church. We will take a closer look at its history tomorrow when we have another look around.
St Peter and St Paul's Church which is said to be the new church dates back to 1879. The old church was in such a state that it was deemed to be to small for the growing population. What is so striking about this church is the colour of the stone work and the fact that there appears to be no graveyard.
After a look around we walked back to the boat along the river and past the pubs, which made us both feel thirsty, so I opened a couple of cans of Old Speckled Hen and we sat out on the boat and watched the boats going by. A couple of boats left and a couple more replaced them, then June and Gordon on NB Excalibur asked if they could moor alongside us, which of course we said yes too. They had done Five hours of cruising from Gloucester Docks and we needing to stop, so they are moored alongside us for the night and very welcome they are too. We have had a lovely time chatting to them about their experiences on the canals and rivers. They are a lovely couple who I can say are in their mature years, but still enjoying their 3 months out on the boat and will continue to do so as long as their health holds out. They are a good advert to a long life on the water.
Dinner tonight is going to be a salad, because it is still very warm out and if I put the cooker on now we will all melt. It has been a lovely day of watching boats, model gliders and vintage cars and tractors going past. Now I am off to take some headache pills to get rid of this darn headache which has been with me the last couple of days. Have a lovely day.
Chat soon xx