Frampton On Severn
What a shame it rained for most of the day. We had guests coming and if the weather had been like last week we’d have planned a barbeque, but instead we lit the stove!
Much of the day I spent preparing some food whilst Mick had a tidy around, refreshed the bucket in the toilet and Tilly had another hunt round for Bunnies.
Jaye and Duncan are old friends from Scarborough and had been visiting family in Monmouth, just 15 miles away as the crow flies, only another 25 miles by road to get over the Severn. Duncan has been reading our blog from the day it started back in June 2014 when we left Crick Marina on Lillian, so it’s only taken them four years to actually come and visit us!
We’d sent them details of where they might park. There’s a Pay and Display by the cafe at Saul Junction or what looked like a very handy layby on a bend up near the next bridge, they of course chose the free option. Many hours of conversation were to be had and it was an opportunity for them to meet Tilly for the first time, although she was a little bit reluctant. Well there were bunnies to make friends with!
By mid afternoon the rain seemed to have stopped so we decided to have a bit of a walk back towards the junction and then see where the mood took us. Two C&RT chaps were testing Saul Junction Swing Bridge and it’s warning sirens, but sadly they didn’t swing it.
First we walked down one side of the disused canal and then after one slightly boggy field realised that we were on the wrong side of it so had to retrace our squelching steps. Back on the correct path we had the canal on our left and the River Frome on the other for much of the way to the Severn.
The Stroudwater Canal had a long winded start. First thought of in the late 17th Century to transport coal to Stroud where woollen goods were made in the mills. The finished cloth would then be transported back along the canal to the Severn and on to market. An act of Parliament was passed in 1730 although there was a lot of opposition from mill owners worried that the water used to power their mills would be stolen for use in the locks. 5 miles of river improvements were done by 1761, but the works were proving to be too costly so the scheme was abandoned. A new act of Parliament was passed in 1776 for a plan that avoided much of the river and therefore the mills. Works were finally completed and the canal opened in 1779.
At Framilode there was a tidal lock, with differing gates to accommodate different tides. By 1794 a basin was built above the lock so that boats could wait for a suitable tide before entering the Severn. A horse drawn towpath was finally added in 1827 boats had been bow hauled prior to this. As ever it was the railways that brought about the decline of the canal and by 1922 any dividends from the canal had ceased along with the canal getting blocked at Framilode which severed the link to the Severn, leaving this end of the canal unused.
Much of the canal now is still full of water, but over grown creating more of a linear pond. The Ship Inn stands looking very attractive with it’s outdoor seating canal side. They are closed during the afternoon, open for lunch and in the evenings, so sadly we couldn’t sample their ales. Past the line of cottages we joined the road meeting the Severn more or less where the tidal lock once was.
To help our feet dry out we returned to Oleanna via the road seeing some rather interesting houses on the way.In the evening we enjoyed a very large Salmon en Croute (there are left overs thank goodness) followed by a Bakewell Tart all washed down with some bubbles, more wine and lots of conversation.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 pooh bucket, 0 guided tour! 2 balls of wool delivered, 1 dead canal, 8 soggy feet, 1 pub not open, 2 bowls of nibbles, 1 en croute big enough to feed the 5000! 1 bakewell, 1 bottle (yes I did say bottle) of white, 1 bottle of red, 1 bottle of bubbles, 1st overnight visitors to a fully finished Oleanna, Duncan had to be a first visitor of somesort!Severn River level at 9am today (at Bewdley a mile upstream from Stourport) 1.08m,
level at Diglis, Worcester at 9am today 0.83m,
level at Gloucester Docks at 9am today 0.953m (the tides will start to affect the level again).
**Duncan, did this arrive at a different time? Also can you try replying to the email, we've changed some settings on the emailed blog.**