Sunday, 22 May 2011

Down River to Worcester

Caxton moored on the floating pontoon on the R.Severn at Stourport
Thursday morning we waved farewell to Stourport and headed down river towards our next stop, Worcester.  The previous day we had crossed the basin and descended to two staircase locks (four locks in total) on to the River Severn where we moored up on the floating pontoon. Wednesday afternoon I had walked the dogs south along the towpath and 'discovered' that the locks on the River Severn were manned! Forgive my ignorance but this is all new territory and I had assumed that the locks would be like those of the R.Avon, large, deep and powered by ME...  Greatly relieved at this unexpected bonus I was eager to get started on Thursday morning.
We passed a variety of craft, some rather elegant and some....
less so...
We skirt our first weir, Lincomb weir, and head for the lock.  These locks are controlled by traffic lights and at each of the three locks we were met by the gates gently opening as the lock keepers spotted our approach - what a pleasure.
Himself has got the camera so here am I clutching the wire hawser that keeps us from bashing about.  In this instance though it was to ensure that we kept Caxton 'away' from the side wall as it slopes in an narrowboats can be tipped over - according to the Lockie anyway.
Farewell Lincombe Lock
We travelled down river through wooded countryside until we reached Worcester.  As we were not familiar with the City we moored on the town moorings along by the racecourse - the first we came to.  Not to be recommended  if you have a narrowboat unless you are equipped with a plethora of giant plastic buoys to keep the boat away from the concrete.  We paid our £3.50 to the park keeper and headed off to look for Diglis basin, the entrance to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.  Having found the basin and sussed out that there were plenty of places to moor safely we scuttled back to Caxton and continued south to Diglis lock.
The first of the barge locks into the basin at Diglis
Caxton approaching the 1st Diglis lock from the river.
Caxton on the visitor moorings in Worcester
We moored up on visitor moorings only a matter of yards from the main basins and awaited the arrival of Stuart Harper (Caxton's boat fitter) and Anita his partner - we were off out for dinner together.  Caxton got the once over and a nod of approval before we headed for the Kings Head and a pleasant evening together.


Debbie said...

The best place to stop on Worcester's Visitor moorings is up by the racecourse - the side has wood set into it which is a bit gentler on your paintwork,

If you stop on the way back, DON'T moor anywhere near the bridges - the locals are a bit unfriendly and will throw stones/bricks at you, as we found to our cost. Up by the racecourse is fine though.

debbie said...

Meant to say - are you going all the way to Gloucester? If so, best basin moorings are on the wall immediately left as you come out of Gloucester Lock, if you can get on there. The pontoons are just too short to tie onto properly if you are more than 50 ft, and it's impossible to stop the back end swinging about. Other than that, on the wall on the right as you come out of the lock. The wall is a bit high there, but you can get shore power. Failing that, go on under the next bridge, and right after the bridge on the left is a length of mooring pontoon. We usually stop there - you're in the town but kind of out of the way.

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Debbie
The moorings by the racecourse/rowing club are closed now. 'Sorry for the inconvenience' notices everywhere but now no narrowboat friendly moorings riverside.
As for Gloucester, we will be going that way this summer so your advice is gladly noted, thank you.

Captain Ahab said...

If Diglis visitor moorings appear to be full its usually possible to create a space between the taps and the start of the basin - and convenient for the pub too!

Nb Caxton said...

Thank you Captain - duly noted.