Ten Bob Note  

Sunday 1st July 2007 - No Smoking ban starts today - great news!!

Location: Still on a pontoon at Stourport, Worcs  N52:19:15 W2:15:52   

Today: 0 miles, 0 locks. Total distance: 185 miles.   Total locks: 146

Heavy showers in the morning. Warm and some sun in the afternoon.

Day seven on the pontoon on the Severn!!

The river level has risen by a couple of inches over night. Not as much as I expected after all of the rain yesterday. Apparently, it takes between 24 and 36 hours for the effects of the rain in Wales to reach Stourport so we will not see the true effects until tonight. Fingers crossed that the rain did not fall too heavily in the catchment area.

Got soaked again walking to the local shop to get the papers.

Had a message from Graham on nb Alnwick. They have been moored up at Worcester for a few days waiting to get onto the Severn to travel to Stourport. They were originally on there way to the Saul festival scheduled for this weekend but it was cancelled due to the floods. They have decided to turn around and head back up the Worcester and Birmingham canal to Birmingham. There are a lot of locks on that stretch of canal, including the 30 that make up the Tardebigge flight. They have to go back up them all again – still, better that than sitting around waiting on the river!!! We will be heading up the Worcester and Birmingham canal as soon as we get released from this pontoon…….

Monday 2nd July - 8 nights and 7 days on the pontoon

Heavy showers, some thundery, sunny spells. Warm.

The river level fell an inch or so yesterday evening but is back up again today.

Washed down the roof of the boat yesterday afternoon. It took the two of us over two hours to do it, it was filthy. It's the first time it has been washed since we bought the boat!! I wonder how long it will be until the next wash!!

Had a chat with Martin the lock keeper (we are on first name terms and good neighbors now), he believes it will be the end of the week before the level is back down low enough to open for business again. Fingers crossed that it is sooner than that but as we had more heavy rain this morning, he could well be right. He was telling us that in his 16 years as lock keeper, he has never known the river to be closed in June/July like it is now.


Tuesday 3rd July - 9 nights and 8 days on the pontoon

Heavy showers, some thundery, sunny spells. Warm.

The river has risen yet again. The lock keeper thinks it will peak tomorrow then start to go down. Outlook for opening the river is Saturday.

Walked into Stourport for some shopping. Managed to dodge the heavy showers and got back to the boat dry for a change.


Wednesday 4th July - 10 nights and 9 days on the pontoon

Light showers and dull. Cool.

The water level looks like it has peaked and is very slowly going down. It looks like it has dropped an inch or two since last night. Saturday may even be a bit optimistic !!


Thursday 5th July - 11 nights and 10 days on the pontoon

Dull but dry in the morning, showers in the afternoon - some heavy. Cool.

The water level is on the way down but slowly. Now looking like Sunday for the river re-opening.

Walked into Stourport again this morning for some odds and ends, actually got there and back dry for a change!!

Have arranged to hire a car, they will come out to the lock tomorrow morning, drive me to their base in Kidderminster, do the paperwork then give me the car. The car is hired until 09:00 on Monday morning so regardless of the river levels, we will now be here until mid Monday morning. Martin the lock keeper has kindly given us permission to park the car by the lock in the British Waterways parking area.


Sunday 8th July - 14 nights and 13 days on the pontoon

Drove down to Wiltshire to visit family yesterday. Stayed the night at my sister and brother in-law, thanks for having us and the lovely meal.

Picked up some coal in the hire car on Friday afternoon (8 bags = 200Kg). We bought it straight from the coal merchant as it is cheaper than buying from a marina. Should keep us going for a while. We bought Taybright as it seems to be popular on the canals. The coal merchant told us that it is recommended for multi-fuel stoves. We lit the fire on Friday night and were very pleased with the results, next to no smoke or smell and it burns very well.

Got back to the boat around 15:00 hoping that the water had dropped significantly – it hadn’t. All in all, it has gone down by about 3 inches since yesterday morning but the lock keeper thinks it is now dropping a bit faster. Now looking like Tuesday for our release ??

Monday 9th July - 15 nights and 14 days on the pontoon

Some heavy showers and dull. Cool.

Returned the hire car this morning and they drove us back to the boat.

Walked into Stourport to visit the vet to get some more steroids for Mabel. She is allergic to just about everything and will be on steroids for life. The vet back in Hitchin faxed a prescription through to the vet in Stourport who then made up the prescription.

Once again, it poured down with rain on the walk back from town, hopefully this will have been the last trip there???

The lock keeper tells us that he is expecting us to get away tomorrow, even if it is only to turn around and get back to the canal at Stourport. It’s not the direction we want to go in but it is better than staying here. With any luck, the water level will continue to fall and we will be able to head south to Worcester and get onto the Worcester and Birmingham canal there.

The lock keeper believes that the water has taken so long to go down because a reservoir up north has been dumping water into the river as it is over full. It looks like they have now stopped dumping water as the level is going down by around a foot every twenty four hours which is what the lock keeper expects to see.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!!


Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 22 April, 2014 1:06 PM