Saturday, 7 March 2015

The River Severn

Hi there

Well another month has past since my last post and that was only a roundup of 2014 so I've left you all really lacking on what we've been upto.

The first month or so from when we returned to the boat in January was a bit of a drag as work we'd asked to be done on the boat whilst we'd been away hadn't been so we had a two week delay sitting in the marina. Not all bad though, as we had the comfort of water on the jetty, electric hookup, and an elson point so we had a few weeks without having to consider life's essentials had we been out and about on the canal.

The plan had been to head up to Birmingham as the flight of locks at Tardebigge were closed, but having the two week delay changed our minds and we headed south instead. We managed to get through the flight a few days early as it turned out that they weren't closed anyway, but then got held up by an overrun on work taking place on Astwood flight instead.

Throw into the mix a number of below zero nights further added to our slow progress by another ten days or so as we were iced in on and off over the next few weeks.

Well and truely back on the move now though having travelled through Worcester and onto The River Severn where life jackets, pet floats (aka life jackets for The Boys) and anchor all got brought out and ready for use.

Moored here at Upton-on-Severn with the water level pleasantly low and therefore not much flow.

You'll notice that we are moored on a floating pontoon and you can see by the pictures just how far it can ride up (see the upright poles that the pontoon is attached to).

Just three other photos to put the potential rise in the rivers water level into context. If you look at the wall in the centre of this picture, you'll see that there is a flood gate that can be closed and the water level clearly comes higher than the wall as its height has been increased by a glass barrier.

The aforementioned flood gate on the left and additional glass barrier on top of the wall for added height.

And looking down to where the water level currently is. Its hard to imagine the volume of water that must be present to increase the rivers height so much and we just hope it doesn't rain too much whilst we're on it.

We came across some commercial traffic whilst on the river with these barges transferring ground between two points a few miles apart.

Pictured here being loaded

And then loaded and underway, notice how much lower it sits in the water when full.

We didn't realise until the Monday that the locks on the River Severn are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays over the winter so made a pitstop at Tewkesbury on The River Avon. As the waterway was very quiet (aka we seemed to have it to ourselves as nobody else was travelling) the Avon lock keeper let us moor on the lock stage for a few nights whilst relieving us of £2 a night as we were on the Avon Navigation that is not covered by our Canal and River Trust licence, and £3 a night for the mooring. Not too bad I suppose and Tewkesbury turned out to be a really nice town with some good walks for The Boys.

I'll bring you fully upto date in installments, so as to not bore you all at once and will say by for now.

And so in signing off,

Day 760 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 1504 miles, 731 locks and 773 cruising hours further on from when we started.


  1. Hi Both, good to hear from you! Very brave on the Severn and Avon, it looks lovely on the calm water. We did the same journey in 1976!!!!!!! We loved Tewksbury but it’s probably changed a bit since then! Stay well, look after yourselves. xx

    1. Hi Carol. We were lucky on the River Severn as water levels happened to be quite low as there hadn't been much rain around. It was just the wind really that didn't make for a nice trip down. Been keeping tabs on Molly, hopefully all is as well as can be now. Bye for now, Keith and Nicky

  2. Hi
    Had to look up what an Elsan point was. Down under we call it a dump point which I think is much more appropriate
    Bod xx

    1. Yo Bod. Yes well you're a down under caravaner and were boaters on the English waterways, say no more . . . . Love to Shaz x