And so, dear reader, you find us where we cruelly abandoned you, at the historic Gloucester Docks. Many years ago when we had Reuben, a Spanish exchange student staying with us we suggested we might take him to see The Docks, a puzzled look came over his face and he replied, “Dogs? I have seen dogs!”
So… for the last few weeks we have been down the length of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and back staying for 2 weeks at Slimbridge where we were able to meet up with lots of friends and family from the area where we lived for more than 35 years. (How long sir? – Does anyone else remember that as a Round the Horne/Beyond our Ken catchphrase?) 1
- J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock – the walking slum (played by Kenneth Williams). This dilapidated wreck started his radio career in Beyond Our Ken as the man who had been doing everything for 35 years, and developed into the sometimes King of Peasemoldia – a kingdom somewhere just off the Balls Pond Road.
Solved thanks to Laughterlog.com
Just a few highlights, but the photos give a taste of our time there:
- Discovering a fab new restaurant Greek on the Docks which had only been open 3 days on our first visit.
- Catching up with friends, especially some we hadn’t seen for 10 to 20 years!
- Catty surviving another swim (she must be using up those lives)
- A visit to 25th Lister Tyndale Vintage Rally (meeting more old friends & customers)
- A visit to The Purton Hulks an intentional beaching of semi-redundant timber lighters starting in the winter of 1909, to strengthen the nearby eroding canal bank, eventually numbering some 81 vessels.
- Visiting the entrance to Sharpness Docks and seeing the remains of the The Severn & Wye Railway Bridge (demolished in 1967 following a disaster in 1960 – The remains of the two barges Arkendale H and Wastdale H still visible at low water at Purton)
- Experiencing the hottest day of the year so far causing some of the swing bridges to jam.
- Joy losing her phone in the dock and a day out in Cheltenham to collect a replacement ordered from John Lewis, Hooray for bus passes!
We would have been on our way to Worcester today but today’s engine check revealed a semi shredded domestic alternator belt (and my spare was the wrong size) so a trip back down the canal to moor up outside a bemused GSF Car Parts at Riga Wharf saw us supplied with spares at a very reasonable price. The delay meant that we would have been late leaving anyway but we were also advised by the lock-keeper that a 8.5 metre tide was due and advised not leaving before 1pm.
So a chance for another lunch at Greek on the Docks then, ah well, such is life.