Thursday, 25 June 2015

Severn Railway Bridge and the Purton Hulks

Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Firstly what a night I had! I did not get to bed until around 1am and was up at 2am as I needed to go to the bathroom.  Being the middle of nowhere it was pitch black.  I fished around for my phone that has a torch and realised that for some reason it was not charging.  As it is our alarm clock and we needed to be prompt this morning I went and felt my way around for my other charging cable, did what I needed to do and went back to bed.  I was, however, very cold (unusual for me) and it took me a while to get back to sleep.  At around 03:30 Monty woke me asking to go outside – this has never happened before and we found out why this morning – he was not sent down the garden last thing at night!  We won’t make that mistake again!  Then around 4:30am he woke me again as he needed to do something more substantial – system out of kilter I guess!  By now it was broad daylight and there was an amazing sunrise along the canal. The picture does not do it complete justice – was it worth getting up for – I guess it was, but I think I would rather have been asleep.  

Before I knew it the alarm went off at 7am.  We had a lot to do before setting off.  You many wonder how Chris fared with all this going on - he did not hear a thing!!

It was not the best start for me to our 42nd Wedding Anniversary.  

The weather, however, was perfect – wall to wall sunshine (as it was 42 years ago) with very little wind, so I was sure the day would get better.

My main task was a good long walk with Monty.  We set off at around 08:30 and arrived back about an hour later.  And what a walk it was.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing all around us, butterflies were flitting in the reeds, there were cows mooing gently on the other side of the canal and we heard the occasional putt as boats (2) went past us.

The first treat was the remains of the Severn Bridge – this is a model of what it was

This the information - which I hope you can read if you want to.
 And this the remains of the swivel portion of the bridge. It must have been quite a sight when it was operating.  Such a shame that it came to such a tragic end.

The next treat was the Purton Hulks.  I knew they were there, but had no idea that I could get so close.  The added bonus was stunning views of the estuary which did not have that much water – on its way in I hoped.

The information board is not that clear, so a little explanation for those who have never heard of these hulks before.  The banks of the River Severn have historically suffered from erosion, so from 1909 to 1965 unwanted vessels were beached on the foreshore and allowed to fill with silt.  These formed a barrier and helped prevent the river eroding into the banks of the canal.  Over the years research has been done and most have plaques with their names and other details.    I took loads of photos and think that I have most of the individual plaques.  I will let a few photos give you a taste of what you will find – it is definitely worth the walk.  I am grateful to Monty for taking me.

This board lists all the hulks - I am not sure it is that clear, but it gives an idea of how many to look for.


  1. What an amazing diary! What an amazing life to lead too! I have always wondered what it would be like to live the life on board. It looks so much fun but I am guessing a lot of work too. I have read a couple of pages full, so will pop back to read more. Linda x

  2. Thank you Linda - yes it is an amazing life and we do know how lucky we are to have been able to fill our dream.