Category: Tewkesbury

Christmas Day in pics

On Christmas Day we had spectacular weather after weeks of cloud and rain and misery. Granted, it was about 7 degrees, but the sun was shining and the wind had stopped and I grabbed my camera and headed out to take some pics. Town was deserted. 

Fortunately the current crop of floods are abating somewhat. On Saturday I had gone walkies and took a look at the water levels around us and things were not looking too good. This is the Severn looking towards the Mythe water works. 

(1500 x 435)

The pano above was taken on Saturday and is looking towards Bredon Hill across the waters from the Avon/Severn confluence.  Fortunately that water is subsiding and hopefully will remain low. As an aside, just think how fertile that soil must be.  Back in Town I headed towards the Abbey because it is always spectacular. Alas, the floods have cut off parts in that area too.  The area where the small white building is is the cricket pitch and the only game that can be there now is water polo. Howzat?

A few steps away is the parking lot for the Abbey and you can get some wonderful shots of it from this area.

The Abbey was unaffected by the 2007 floods, but you can bet that in its almost 900 years of existence it has seen a lot of water surrounding it.  There is a really huge tree in it’s grounds too that is a definite favourite of mine.  It must be really old and who knows how much it has seen. 

I went into the Abbey and had a quick walk around. The Christmas service was starting at 10.30 till 12.00 but I had a full bladder and no reading glasses so did not stay for it. But while I was there the choir was singing and the organ was making sweet thunderous music. Light was streaming into the east facing windows and it was very special. The pews were filling quite quickly too and on my way back home I saw lots of people heading towards it to attend the service.

Behind the High Altar was a nativity scene and the light was shining on it and it was very apt for a Christmas Day. Unfortunately I cropped the image badly and could not replicate the shot from other positions. 

Leaving the warmth and solidity of that ancient church I headed along the Mill Avon towards town. The deep shadows and bright patches made photography difficult, but there was a peaceful air about this part of the river.

The old mill and Victoria Gardens were under water once again, and the boats moored alongside were riding at pavement level. One boat caught my eye, the name board proclaiming it to be “Thunderchild” and immediately I thought about Jeff Waynes War of the World’s

“Thunderchild”

The Invaders must have seen them
As across the coast they filed
Standing firm between them
There lay Thunder Child.

I would have that piece of music going around inside my head for the rest of the day. In one of the alleys I came across this magnificent gate and that really wrapped up my photography for the day and I turned my bows towards home.

Break had a nice display of vintage toys and I paused for a pic…  Children are really the ones who enjoy the season the most, but alas Christmas has lost the magic and has become a commercialised monstrosity. 

Apart from food Christmas was done and dusted for another year. You can bet that Boxing day will be in its last throes and they will be putting out the Valentines Days goodies, although in South Africa it is more about “Back to School” instead,  and we all know how kids enjoy that too… NOT!

DRW © 2019-2020. Created 26/12/2019.  
Thunder Child lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Songwriters: Jeff Wayne / Gary Osbourne.
Updated: 27/12/2019 — 06:41

Still flooding

Yes, it is true, we are still awash with water from the Severn and Avon. Last Sunday morning the water in the field outside had dropped considerably but started to rise by the time I got back from the Remembrance Day Service. Rain did not help the situation at all and when I left home on Friday morning Northway Lane was flooded. I cycle in the direction of the first image to access the cycle path. 

Northway Lane

The water was as deep as the crank of my bicycle and that was on the pavement!  By the time I left for home the level had dropped slightly, but that was not saying much. The images in this post are all taken on Saturday 16 November and are a good indicator of the state of affairs where I live. 

The cycle path is surrounded by water and at some points it is flowing an inch from the tar and I have not seen the water so high since i moved here in 2015. I go over the green bridge every day and it was from here that Miss Emily and I played Poohsticks .

Theoretically this is the Carrant Brook, although it is now more like the Carrant River. 

I went into town this morning but travelled past Bredon Garage to see what the water levels were. The image below shows the water level during the 2007 floods, and this morning it is lapping at the door of the building. 

The road is also flooded, but I was able to ride on the pavement to avoid most of the water. Unfortunately this road is in an appalling condition and riding a bike here can be very uncomfortable because of the potholes, manholes and other hazards just waiting for you to hit them with your front wheel.

The major source of all this water is the Avon and Severn Rivers. 

Avon River:  Current River Level:  4.469m, rising.  Current level recorded at 11:00am, Saturday 16th November GMT. Change from previous measurement: 0.003m  (recorded at 10:00am, Saturday 16th November GMT at Tewkesbury Upper Pond)

Things look equally bad for the Severn:  Current River Level:  4.392m, rising Above normal for this location. Current level recorded at 12:00pm, Saturday 16th November GMT Change from previous measurement: 0.006m (recorded at 11:00am, Saturday 16th November GMT Mythe Bridge)

Severn River, Tewkesbury Ham, Mythe Water Works (1500×448)

Realistically all this water will eventually head downstream and probably exit at the Severn Estuary; but who knows how long that could take.  I can just look out of my window and hope that things don’t get worse.  There was however one good thing about all this water; I got to take the Pretoria Castle out for a sail.

The water where i was standing was at mid calf height and the piece of string is just in case she gets blown away or decides to sink. 

On Sunday morning I went up to Aldi and took the following pics

Unfortunately it started to rain late on Sunday afternoon, although the level of the Avon appears to dropping.

Current River Level:  4.333m, falling, Above normal for this location, Current level recorded at 5:00am, Monday 18th November GMT, Change from previous measurement: -0.004m  (recorded at 4:30am, Monday 18th November GMT)

And that was the flood report. We return you to our regular broadcast. 

DRW © 2019. Created 16/11/2019. River level data from https://riverlevels.uk/

Updated: 04/12/2019 — 20:20

Remembrance Day 2019

Another year has almost passed and we are already at Remembrance Day. It has been a troubled year though, not only for myself but for the UK in general. However, come Remembrance Day then the whole town comes out to observe the silence and to Remember The Fallen of both wars. Actually we commemorate too those who lost their lives in the service of their country in other wars and political upheaval, and of course the millions of innocents who were caught in the middle. 

The weather on this day was forecast as being cloudy but by the time the service was underway it had turned into a pleasant day overall. 

Just for a change I decided I would showcase some of the businesses and shops that decorate their windows, and while this is not all of them it is those that I have seen and managed to get pics of. Reflections are always a problem though and of course parked cars and passing pedestrians. 

 

I do not necessarily endorse any of the shops above, but would like to thank them for making the effort. Oh, we do seem to have a lot of undertakers in our small town, which is really odd when you think about it. 

The War Memorial I have dealt with on several occasions so won’t go into it in any detail, however it does sit on a crucial junction and when it is in use you can be rest assured the town comes to a stop. 

The service this year was more or less the same format as previously, but was much shorter although it was well attended as usual. 

(1500 x 671)

And the Tewkesbury Town Band led the parade as usual. They are very professional and popular too, and if music is required then they can help! 

The marching column is a long one though, and gets more ragtag as it gets to the end as it includes the many children’s groups that are included in the parade (Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, Air Training Corps, Army Cadet Force, Scouts (Beavers, Cubs & Scouts), Girl Guides (Rainbows, Brownies & Guides), Sea Cadets, Tewkesbury Tigers & Tewkesbury Colts). Many of the children are shivering with cold though so you can bet they will be glad when its time to head off home. 

And then it was time for the Last Post and the 2 minute silence…

and the wreath laying.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old, 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning 
We will remember them.”

And then they all marched off. I think that this portion of the parade was done by 11H20 and all that was left was the march past at the town hall.

Last year the biggest highlight for me was the small girl who sat on her father’s shoulders and saluted as everybody marched past. I was hoping to spot her again this year and I did too. Only she had grown now and while she sat on her father’s shoulders this year I doubt whether she would be able to next year. But, she took the salute again and I hope she will continue to for many years to come. Those shivering children are the future of Remembrance and in 20 years time hopefully they will be standing in our place watching the parade pass by while their children straggle along at the end.  

The red of the Flanders Poppy represents the blood of all those who gave their lives,

the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home,

and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much.

DRW © 2019. Created 10/11/2019

Updated: 04/12/2019 — 20:20
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