Thursday, 29 June 2017

"Spot" the Pigs!

Sunday 25th June 2017
Tewkesbury to Gloucester

13.25 miles, 3 locks

Gloucester had confirmed that the 9 metre high tide had not wreaked too much havoc, so we were cleared to leave Tewkesbury as the lock opened after lunch at 14:00.  nb Manhattan was to travel with us - so much easier to have two in the lock and a degree of comfort for both boats once on the river having someone within hailing distance if things did go awry.  Manhattan led the way.

Looking back at Avon lock

The Severn for the most part is wide with high banks, so there is little to see

There was just one lock between the two towns - the Seven locks are all large and are worked by lock keepers, so all we had to do was thread ropes through poles on the lock sides and hold on

For a part of the river that is non tidal this shows that there was quite a tide today!

The wind it did blow as can be seen by the fate of this little dinghy

The closer we got to Gloucester we became aware of a degree of rubbish brought in by the tide, but nothing that was going to give us a problem
 The water, however, was very brown - Chris said it was like sailing through liquid chocolate!

Just over two and a half hours after we left Tewkesbury the wall outside Gloucester lock hove into view.  If the lock is not ready you have to moor up to the wall to wait.  The current is such, however, that you have to moor the stern first and the bow will then be pushed in to the side.  Do the bow first at your peril!

No such problems for us this trip as a wide beam was already in the lock, so it was ready for the two narrow boats to go in behind.

Up the lock and out into Gloucester Docks - we have been here before and even though we knew what to expect it is still a wonderful sight.  A real honey spot of a mooring

With a view along the Gloucester/Sharpness Canal to Llanthony lift bridge

We fought the wind and tucked ourselves into the corner, but what is that on the quayside this side of the white C&RT van?

It looks like a pig

and so it proved to be - something we would have to investigate the next day.

Monday 26th June 2017


A while back I mentioned that my camera shutter was not opening and closing properly - well things reached crisis point on the journey from Tewkesbury when it failed completely.  A focus error message was displayed and that was that.  I resorted to Chris' camera which I am not used to.  It is old and it is almost impossible to see what is on the screen in even the slightest bit of sun.  It does, however, still take good photos, but I really needed to replace mine, so the first job was to find The London Camera Exchange and see if they could be of assistance.  I wanted the same make - Panasonic Lumix as I have two good batteries and a charger, plus the fact that I understand how it works.  They came up trumps with the TZ70 - one up from my previous TZ60.  There are two above that - the 80 and 90, but they take much larger batteries.  I have to say they were very helpful and I came away very happy and my first picture - well it had to be of the store!

We had made one diversion on the way to the camera shop - into the Tourist Information Office.  We needed a map of Gloucester and we also hoped to find out about that pig by the docks.  We were not disappointed on both counts.

So why a pig?  Well not just one pig - there are 31 of them!  Most are in the city centre with a couple more in the M5 service area and the final one is at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park.  They are all associated with the Three Counties (Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) Show.  An annual event that takes place at the Malvern Show Ground.  This year they were celebrating the Gloucester Old Spot pig that Alan's father was a champion of when he opened the Farm Park in 1971.  A tradition that Adam has continued.  So how many did we find - well just nine.  We loved them and may well go looking for some more when we return on our way back from Sharpness.
School Pig

Private Henson Pig

Piggy Bank

Constable Pig

Dame Janet Trotter

Hippy Pig

Pig Bot

After the successful camera shop we wandered in to the Eastgate shopping centre which has a market at one end where we came across a stall selling loose herbs, spices, olives, Turkish delight and many other middle eastern goodies.  I failed to take photos - we were too busy tasting olives!  We came away with two mixed spices to coat chicken (we have tried one and it is very good), some blades of mace and a small pot of olives, oh and two pieces of pistachio Turkish delight.  

It is only two years since we were last here when we visited the Cathedral, The Tailor of Gloucester and spotted other sights worth visiting.  If you want a reminder please look HERE.  I noted then that we did not get to The Soldiers of Gloucester Museum and the Folk Museum, plus we needed to return to the Waterways Museum.  I afraid we failed on all three counts, so will just have to come back again - no hardship I can assure you.  

A return visit was made to the Mariner's Chapel - a place of such serenity it is a joy to visit.  It is almost incongruous situated as it is among the warehouses.

There is a leaflet inside that gives details of some 're-ordering work' that they have planning permission for.  This is the first major work on this iconic building for many decades.  They are adding a disabled toilet, a kitchen area, storage cupboard, new lighting & heating, carpeting and seating (moveable, stackable chairs).  I guess that means they will lose those lovely pews, but the idea is to make a more flexible usable space more suited to the 21st century.  The total cost will be £86,000.

We came across this outside The Soldiers of Gloucester Museum

This notes that 2015 was Gloucester's 'Big Year', however we were here that year and neither of us recall seeing this chap or this 

I cannot believe we missed either (the second is right by the mooring pontoons), so have to assume they were put in after 2015 as a memento to their 'big year'.

On Monday Marilyn and David arrived on Waka Huia along with their two travelling companions

One of the mainstays of our life is Monty which means at least two good walks a day.  Whilst we love the moorings in Gloucester the challenge they present the dog owner is finding grass first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  The nearest we have found is about a 5 minute walk from the boat, no problem for us, but does demand some dog leg crossing first thing in the morning!

The place we go to is 

I lost count of the number of times we went there, but on one occasion Monty and I did the full circuit, which was actually shorter than when we did an out and back.  Even if you don't have a dog it does make for a very pleasant walk. Pictures can be found in the link to the 2015 blog post above.

One other thing we did not expect to find in such a city - a sand sculptor

I have to say it was very good.

All good things come to an end and it would be time to move on the next day.


Tom and Jan said...

We also enjoyed Gloucester, although the Severn is somewhat boring.

Jennie said...

Yes I do agree that the Severn is rather boring, but the Avon was wonderful. Good to see you 'popping in'.

Lynn said...

Lots of memories of Gloucester for us in your photos Jennie. Wally's company was situated at the docks, literally a stone's throw from where you were moored. I'm glad you enjoy Gloucester as I'm afraid we found it very tired last time we visited. I expect it is because we remember it as it was back in the 70's. xx

Jennie said...

We are heading back there as I type Lynn. I am sure things are never quite the same when you go back - we felt much the same about Lincoln. It is still a lovely city, but we hardly recognised some of it. xx