The oracle said that Bewdley – about three miles further up the River Severn – was well worth a visit. So we thought we’d dig out our “old-fogey” bus passes, and catch the Tesco shuttle bus. But there were more immediate concerns: we were fast running out of water, and so rather than heading off on an expedition on the Thursday morning, we needed to look after Song & Dance’s needs.
The nearest water point was about 200 yards behind us, down in the Upper Basin (very close to the crane in the previous post). And while backing Song & Dance 200 yards isn’t that tricky – just tedious – backing her through a deep narrow lock was a challenge we chickened out of. There was a winding hole about three-quarters of a mile up stream, so we headed off through the outskirts of Stourport, turned round, came back, locked down into the basin, and took on water. The diesel was cheap so we took on some of that too. Then we locked back up, and tied her up to the same rings we’d left several hours before. Ah, the excitement!
With heavy rain in North Wales we’d noticed that the Severn was showing signs of rising, so when we headed off for the Bewdley bus on Friday morning, we weren’t entirely surprised to head that the river had gone onto red boards.
Taking coffee on the riverside by the bridge, it was quite clear the river was definitely high, and with quite a flow on it, and were well glad Song & Dance was up on the canal system and safe.
Bewdley is indeed worth a visit, and from the bridge seems almost like a miniature version of Henley-on-Thames. It even brought a smile to the chief cook’s face.
Apparently the Severn is navigable beyond Stourport, nearly but not quite to Bewdley. Certainly above Bewdley it gets quite narrow and shallow, although – like Henley – they do have an annual regatta. I guess rowing sculls don’t need much depth of water!
We were also intrigued by this little prophetic little ginnel, which seemed as though it would really be more at home in Tewkesbury.
Bussing back to Stourport in the early afternoon, we found the moorings above the basin were rapidly filling up with frustrated boaters unable to get onto the Severn; there was even a CaRT volunteer at the lock telling people there was no point in going down into the basin because there was nowhere left to moor.
Being good citizens, we checked with the Captain, and although late in the day, decided to head on out of Stourport a little way to help the mooring situation. And so, retracing the first part of yesterday’s chunter, an hour or so later we found a quiet spot just below Falling Sands Lock, of which more later.