Category: Bridges and Rivers

Victoria Gardens and the flood aftermath

This morning there were balloons in the air and I missed it!  The best I could do was this solitary balloon about to be attacked by a large bird. 

Later I went for a walk, hoping to find a suitable spot to launch my Pretoria Castle from, and did some looking to see whether the flood waters had subsided. This is the view from King John Bridge towards the Avon Locks and the Healings Mill in the background on the right.

and downstream on Shakespear’s Avon Way

Last weekend while photographing the flood it struck me that I had never done a photo essay about the Victoria Gardens. I was unable to do so at the time because of the flood waters, but this morning went walkies in that area to see whether the water had resided and how things looked in the area.

By today the water level had dropped dramatically and the gardens and mill were once more accessible. It was also possible to cross the river at the bridge by the mill. This is what it looks like from the bridge looking across to the mill.

and upstream towards town.

and downstream from the bridge. This high pond is really a sluice gate and somewhere I have an information sheet about it and seem to recall it is called a “Fish Belly Sluice”. Naturally I cannot find it at this moment to confirm what I remember. The garden is the tree-ed area on the left.

There are three entrances to the gardens, the one being from the area at the mill as in the first image, and the other two are in Gloucester Road. 

The Victoria Pleasure Gardens were created by public subscription to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. They were popular with the Edwardians and in 1910 a bandstand was installed which was in regular use till the 1950’s. The gardens were badly affected by the 2007 floods in the town and as can be seen winter flooding can inundate it. The garden is now taken care of as a result of collaboration between local councils and a volunteer group, “Friends of the Victoria Pleasure Gardens”.  The arches in Gloucester Road are signposted as having been erected to celebrate the diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in June 2012 as well as Queen Victoria in 1897.

And to think that a week ago all of this was under water. 

On my way home I popped into the very famous Abbey Tea Rooms in Church Street. I have been wanting to go in there in ages but have never done so. It is a riot of nostalgia and all things eclectic and to be honest I think you would spend hours just looking around and still never seeing everything. .

My mother would have blown a blood vessel had she seen all of that, and then would have thrown it all away in a frenzy of cleaning. Fortunately the people there are much more far sighted than she is.

I can also recommend the food, and I may have to return because I have so much more to look at, but there is so little time and space.

And that was my day. Tewkesbury is busy hanging out the banners for the upcoming Medieval Festival in July, so soon I shall be posting some of those. But till then this sneak peak will have to suffice.

DRW © 2019. Created 22/06/2019

Updated: 24/06/2019 — 19:08

Let’s play Poohsticks

This morning, while riding on the cycle track on my way home I encountered a man and his toddler on the cycle path. “We’ve been playing Poohsticks” he said. 

It was a lightbulb moment.  Now Poohsticks is a very famous game invented by A. A. Milne for his son Christopher Robin Milne, and the game first came to prominence when it was described in the author’s book The House at Pooh Corner.  We more or less have a perfect spot in which to play it, so it was just a matter of time before Miss Emily was roped in for a quick game. 

Dressed to the nines, with her new red purse, felt hat and wellies we headed for the Carrant Brook. 

“Why are we going to the river?” she asked. “Are we there yet?”

I first took her down to the bank and tried to explain the rules. She sat on the tree branch and tried to listen attentively. She had already waylaid a passing twig that she wanted to hurl into the river. “Not yet Miss Emily.”

She eyed another tree branch that was in the river and claimed it as her own “I win!” she exclaimed.

“Nope, not quite Miss Emily, that is overdoing it.”

“Oh Pooh”

We walked a bit further “What about this cool brick?”

“Nope, it will sink like a stone. Enough speculating, lets go stand on the bridge and we can see whose stick gets to the finishing line at the narrow gap downstream first”

We walked up to the bridge and Miss Emily tried to look over the railing, “this railing is too high, maybe if we get that brick I can stand on it?”

“Forget that brick Miss Emily, you can look between the rails. Now get your stick ready!”

Miss Emily pushed her stick through the railings until she was holding it over the water “I am ready!” she shouted excitedly.

“Me too. When I say three let them go and whoever gets to the narrowing first wins. 1, 2…………. 2,5………… 2,6…………  3!” 

The sticks tumbled down into the water to meet their fate. “I’m winning!” she cried.

“No wait, I could be loosing. Which is my stick? I am all confused.”

“That’s always a problem when you play Poohsticks unless you mark your stick properly.”

“That sounds complimacated and way too much work.” She said thoughtfully. “After all this is not the Olympiciamiam Games.”

“You mean the Olympic Games?” 

“Yes, them too. Just imagine winning a gold medal and lots of ice cream in the Olympiciamiam Games as well as in the Olympic Games!”

“I knew it would come down to ice cream again.”

“Let’s have another round.” she grabbed a stick from the pile “Ready when you are!”

And so we played Poohsticks from the bridge.

“That was fun!” Miss Emily said, “I think I am going to enter the Olympiciamiam Games when I grow up.”

“Don’t grow up Miss Emily, it’s a trap!”

“It is?”

“Most definitely, just think, had I not had you I would not have been able to play Poohsticks.”

“That’s true. I don’t think adults play enough games once they grow up.”

“I agree. Come, let’s go get some ice cream, what flavour would you like?”

And so we headed off home via the ice cream shop, Miss Emily had learnt something new, and I had ended up with muddy boots and many pics. The brief sunshine had felt invigorating and we were both ready for the weekend. “it will soon be a new year Miss Emily, how long have you been with me?”

She thought for awhile, “Since September 2016.”

“Time passes very quickly these days”

“Uhu, so we better play games more often then.”

“Good idea Miss Emily, a very good idea.”

The final score? Miss Emily won by 3 sticks and 1 ice cream.

DRW © 2018-2019. Created 29/12/2018

Updated: 29/01/2019 — 13:31
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