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.
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)
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.
The winter weather was decidely pleasant when I set out for the village of Bushley in Warwickshire, I had one CWGC grave to photograph so it was worth the walk to get there. However, this was really a test to see how well I could cope with an extended walk like this. Unfortunately I have been suffering with unspecific hip and back pain and that has really curtailed my meanderings in the countryside. The church of St Peter is just over 3km away via the Mythe Bridge, which is not really far until you factor in the return walk and the gallivanting I had planned for my return trip.
The route encompasses the magnificent Mythe Bridge that I had photographed last year,
crossing the River Severn
and then following the signs until you reach the village which is in Warwickshire as opposed to Gloucestershire.
The church is easy to find too, it is the highest point there.
The church of St Peter was rebuilt in 1843 by Canon Dowdeswell and consists of chancel, north and south transepts, nave and west tower and spire, it is a Grade II listed building and was designed by Dr Edward Blore & Sir Gilbert Scott.
The graveyard is in a reasonable condition and I spotted a number of 1700’s graves in it, which means that there was a church here for many years before the current building was erected.
My CWGC grave was easy to find, and I also found one private memorial.
The War Memorial is affixed to the outside wall of the church and covers both world wars.
I am always curious as to what these parish churches look like inside, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the church was unlocked.
The building inside is much smaller than it looks from the outside, but it is a very beautiful church on the inside.
There are a number of wall memorials to members of the Dowdeswell family and a few floor memorials but I could not get a clear image of those.
The Font may date from the late 12th century, while the organ was erected in 1908.
Time was trickling away and I needed to start making tracks out of here, I paused at the Nativity scene in front of the pulpit. Christmas was upon us, and it is a very special time in any church.
I returned to the churchyard and took more photographs.
As can be seen the churchyard is higher than the surrounding pavement, which ties into the fact that there are more people buried here than reflect in the 177 memorials in the churchyard with a total of 352 names.
The registers for the church go back to 1538, and the oldest date on a memorial is 1633.
The churchyard does have an extension next to it, although that is nowhere near full.
Then it was time to head back to the Mythe Bridge for my next bit of exploration.
On the right hand side of this image is the sealed off entrance to the tunnel that runs underneath this road.
It was part of the former Upton-upon-Severn to Tewkesbury line and I had been looking for the other end of the tunnel half heartedly for some time. I now had a better idea of where it was, I just had to find it. There is a footpath that runs along the bank of the Severn and by the looks of it I would be able to reach the general area without doing too much bundu-bashing.
The footpath was muddy and there was not much to see in the bush, hopefully at some point I would at least find a clue as to where the tunnel entrance was. Eventually I reached a crossroad with gates in 3 directions, the bush had thinned a bit but was still quite thick, but after checking the gps I was probably close to where I suspected the tunnel was. I walked around the one gate and voila… there it was.
It was bricked up and the entrance door had no visible hinges or lock so was probably fastened from the inside.
Sadly the local graffiti artists had expounded on his occupation, but I was kind of cheesed off that they had found this spot before I had, To see inside that tunnel I would need a long ladder and that would not fit in my slingbag.
There was an interesting little brick hut next to the tunnel with a pipe leading to the roof, but I have no way of knowing what it was in aid of, although I suspect it may have had something to do with signalling.
Then it was time to leave this remnant of the railways and head off towards town and lunch. I had achieved what I had set out to do and that was great. I could now plot that railway almost to Ashchurch Station, I just had to find one more illusive item.
I crossed to the bank of the Avon and took a quick pic of the King John’s Bridge which was commissioned by King John in the late 12th century.
and a strange dredger called Canopus.
and finally a gap in the former railway embankment that leads to the tunnel.
and then home was in sight.
It had been a long walk, and I am tired and sore. I am afraid I will have to stop taking these extended walks because recovering from them is long. Fortunately tomorrow is a bank holiday so I can take it easy, but I may just head out to….
This fine morning, I climbed on board my trusty Rusticle and headed off down the road to town, my objective being to investigate the Mythe Bridge further, as well as the railway tunnel and railway viaduct in the area.
My Mythe Bridge exploration did yield some improved images and it is better to take a look at the original blogpost about the bridge.
The railway tunnel is a literally “over the road” but unfortunately was not accessible as it was fenced off and closed off. Although I was able to zoom into it from the gate.
I discovered the other end in December 2016 and it is bricked closed. The tunnel appears to be roughly 300 metres long.
The next objective was the railway viaduct which is visible from the road. I eventually found a way to get close to it although I could not get onto it as it is fenced closed.
Did trains really travel over this viaduct? it is in line with the tunnel so it is entirely feasible,
This image I took from the approach to the viaduct, and the tunnel is where the cars are parked, I do think there must have been some sort of embankment leading to the tunnel though, the distance is quite short and for a steam engine to climb from the tunnel to the viaduct in such a short space would have been difficult as the grade would have been quite steep.
I also tried to access the trestle bridge that runs over the marina but could not get that right so shelved the idea for awhile, and decided to head back to town.
There is a short river cruise that runs along the Avon and I considered taking that if it was running on this day. I would then be able to kill a few birds with one stone.
Approaching the King John Bridge from town is the Old Black Bear Pub which was supposedly founded in 1308, and which is the oldest public house in Tewkesbury.
The Avon River played quite an important part in Tewkesbury in the days of yore, and of course flooded in 2007, putting Tewkesbury on the map. Today it is more of a leisure boating type river, with fisherpersons lining its banks and small boats puttering up and down the river.
The large building on the right in this image is an old mill building and it has a very pretty iron bridge spanning the Avon.
This bridge was erected in 1822, and is really two bridges alongside each other. The slight arch of this bridge would have made rail traffic difficult, so a flat bridge spans the river next to this one and this flat bridge would have carried the rail traffic into the mill area.
The river cruise happens a bit further down from here, and on this particular trip there were only 4 people on board.
Then we were off, puttering along a waterway that has been in use for who knows how long. We were heading towards the marina and that was where I could satisfy my curiosity.
Just look at that steelwork. They don’t build bridges like that anymore.
The next bridge we were approaching is the King John’s Bridge which was commissioned by King John in the late 12th century as part of improvements to the main road from Gloucester to Worcester. This bridge was widened in the mid-to-late 1950s to meet traffic requirements although original stonework still exists on the bridge.
And then finally our boat reached the trestle bridge over the marina.
And my first thoughts were: Ok, where is the original structure? because there is no way that this was it, especially when you look at the stonework on either side. I kept on thinking that this was almost like a Bailey Bridge or a slightly used former bridge that needed a new home.
We continued puttering along, passing cabin cruisers and narrow boats, although some were not all that narrow. eventually reaching a turning basin where the boat turned around, 10 minutes after we had left. And back we headed towards our berth in town.
Past the Avon Locks that I had posted about before
With the old mill on the right. What will happen to this building? I suspect yuppie pads. It is technically prime real estate with riverside views. It is probably the tallest building in the town apart from the abbey. I spoke to somebody about it and it is a listed building and as such they are unable to do much for it so it will probably remain derelict until it falls down on its own.
And into the crocodile infested mooring berth… No, I do not have an explanation.
with the Abbey in the distance.
It was nearly time to head off home and I strolled along the slightly deserted streets of the town to where my velocipede was chained. I had a whole wodge of new stuff to consider, and of course a few pics to add to the collection. Next time around I want to see how far I can follow the Severn River, and of course try to find the other side of that tunnel and find some more info about the railway. The current cycle path is laid on the former trackbed of the railway, and there is a tantalising piece of railwayana in the centre of town.
From the station the line ran into Quay Street and onto the mill.
The Upton Line is one with the tunnel, It is an interesting mystery though, and maybe it is time I contacted the society mentioned on the plaque. There may be a lot more just waiting for discovery. But that will have to wait for another day.
I never did get a reply about the mysterious bridge, however, very close to where I live is an embankment and buttress for a bridge that would have joined up to the trestle bridge.
The image above I took from the embankment and you can see the trestle bridge in the distance. My neighbour says that originally there was no bridge up to the trestle, the embankment stretched all the way across to it and the road only came afterwards. However, I spotted an image in town that may scupper that theory. The road was always there and was spanned with a bridge. The embankment then continued onwards to where the trestle bridge is today, it then crossed the current marina, went over the viaduct to the tunnel then onwards.
That is the bridge that spans the road, and the buildings on the left still exist.
It does however seem that I can now put this to bed because a lot of the dirty work has been done for me at Malverns Lost Railway.
Out of curiosity, the Ashchurch Junction was quite a complex layout and I found an old map (no date though) which shows the extent of the junction.
The cycle path is part of the old trackbed and there is one small bridge that goes over the road that still has remnants of the steelwork from the railway
The little footbridge on the cycle path from the road beneath. The steel girders are still in place as is the brickwork although the bridge is a jerry built effort.
The cyclepath looking towards the town. The former grain store would have been on the right, and at some point the railway would have branched off onto the embankment heading towards Upton.
It amazes me how all the railway related equipment is all gone and there is almost nothing left. It is a shame that Tewkesbury has become divorced from the railway, with proper rail links the town may have become greater than it is now, but sadly it is now just another glorified bus stop.