Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Great to be back on the Avon though sadly the Fleet Inn moorings are continuing to fall apart. Despite the pub closing next week and a fairly grey evening turning to drizzle we had a good turnout for Pedal Power. Quite a few people who came to Worcester came out again to see the other show.

Launched the new Ruby appeal – details on the Autumn tour leaflet – and hoping that we will not have to sell Tyseley to continue touring next year – our fortieth anniversary. Saw mink running along the side of the Severn as we came down and enjoyed seeing the gravel barges going up to Ryall wharf. Amazing the difference to the draught when fully laden with the water right up to the gunwhales. When empty the barges tower over the river. No wonder they need to keep right to the centre of the stream.

Spent monday morning climbing up Bredon Hill. A lovely day with high clouds and full sun on the ripening corn and the already harvested linseed fields. A touch of Autumn perhaps – winter ? Christmas? Had an amusing altercation with a group of walkers on the top overlooking one of the loveliest views in the country across the valley of the Avon and the Severn towards the Malvern Hills. They were pointing out landmarks to each other – as you do at the top of hills –
‘Look Gareth has spotted Upton on Severn over there’.
I heard someone say ‘That can’t be Upton on Severn it’s too far North’ - it was me. Soon I was surrounded by blue gortex, ordnance survey maps flapping in the wind and gesticulating binoculars...
‘Yes it is – look you can see the church spire and over to the left a little white round thing which is the school’
‘I can see a spire to the right of a round thing’
‘That’s not a spire – it’s a chimney. The spire is to the left’
‘But look it’s midday so the sun is more or less directly in the South so if I line up my map with my shadow Upton would be much further South’
‘But a half an hour on as it’s gone twelve now – and have you taken account of British Summer time?’
‘Well more or less directly South’
'You can see the Avon down there between us and that town and look there’s the Swan’s Neck with the wood behind it’
‘Ah yes ...But the wood is in front of it’
'To the East of it you mean'
‘Look there’s Nafford lock to the right’
‘That’s Strensham Lock’
'No it’s not the river bends twice before the Swan’s Neck – look at the map’
'What’s that village there then?'
'That’s Birlingham'
'It’s too close for Birlingham it must be Bredon'
'Bredon is behind the hill'
'But look there’s Pershore just behind it – you can see the abbey'
'Where – I can’t see any abbey'
'So where’s Tewksbury'
'Behind the Hill'
'What’s that then?'
'Oh yes It’s Tewksbury – or is it?'
'So where’s the Abbey?'
'I don’t know but there’s the motorway between here and the Malverns.'
'What the M5? Of course it’s between here and the Malverns...'
'What’s that then. The M50?'
'No no no. Look at the map there..'
'That’s Upton'
'No it’s not it’s Pershore!'

After about 20 minutes of this we parted none the wiser, all thoroughly annoyed and without wishing each other Good Day.

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