Gloucester and Sharpness Cruise 2017 May 26th – June 4th.

Cruise Report by Bob Hallam

Unfortunately, three boats had  to cancel attendance for various reasons, but things started to happen a number of days before the “start”. Minimo and Dabbling left their Moorings “Oop t’North” to join us.

Bob popped up to Tewkesbury to help them down to Gloucester on a high Spring Tide ebb, while Lynn and Crew brought Cormorant 2 from Saul. Interestingly, all 3 boats arrived within 10 minutes of each other!!

The rest of the boats arrived and berthed on Friday, though not necessarily to plan!

On Friday evening, the “regulation” opening meal was enjoyed at the local eatery, “Aroma,” a highly recommended Indian restaurant. There, we were joined by a number of friends, so altogether the expected 18 became 24! It should be noted that the “Pimm’s O’clock regulation was observed frequently!!

Two days were then spent enjoying the many varied activities and market stalls.

Wake-Boarding Stunts

Jet-Ski Display

Monday May 29th.
saw 17 members taking a walk over Olney Island to see the Hereford and Gloucester Canal Trust restoration. Maggie Jones gave us a very informative explanation of how progress is being made.

Pictured Left to Right:
Sue Campbell, Hilary Whitby, Ric Whitby,Jan Bird, Steve Pickover, Polly Fothergill, Beryl Smith, Neil Fothergill, Melvyn Bann, Maggie Jones (H&G), Sue Turner, Christine Lucas, Sallie Gleed, Richard Gleed, Geoff Smith, Jan Bird, Ged Bird.

Picture: Bob Hallam

The return walk to Gloucester took us for a brief look at the Llantony lock, which is owned by the H&G trust, along with the Cottages beside it. This will be the planned entrance to “their” canal, out into the lower Eastern channel and up the Western Channel to Over.

Tuesday 30th May

All boats and Crews (with the exception of Commodore Martin Turner who was quite ill) left for  Saul Junction, enjoying the scenery and but rather cool and breezy weather.

Wednesday 31st May.

A disappointingly small number of crews boarded the luxurious 22 seat minibus, ably and obligingly driven by Alan.

Clive and Jill Field, who run the (now 3!!) visitor centres, organise talks to many societies and groups are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very hard-working Cotswold canals members.

They took time out to create a bespoke talk and slideshow for us- but first they arranged the venue! Whitminster Village Hall was the first stop of the day, where Tea, Coffee and Biscuits were provided for us.

Clive and Jill’s presentation was informative, humorous and very well received by all those present.

Next on the itinerary was a brief visit to Brimscombe Port, where Bob gave a brief outline of what the old basin (HQ of the Thames and Severn Company) was like, with a hope of what it will look like in some time (hopefully) near future with the Canal and basin restored to water.

Then, on to Ham Mill Lock. Here Bob, and around 100 other volunteers (at differing times) had an involvement in the restoration in 2015. Although it has a couple of (major) outstanding issues (not the restorers fault!!!) it is close to being put back into use.

Our final stop was at the Wallbridge Visitor Centre, where, pending the arrival of Clive and Jill, we had a pleasant picnic overlooking Wallbridge Upper Lock (No. 2 on the T&S Canal)


Photo: Lynn Hallam. Making Arrangements: Bob Hallam.
Pictured Left to Right:
Melvyn Bann, Christine Lucas, Jan Thomas, Beryl Smith, Ged Bird , Margaret Paul, Geoff Smith, Bruce Paul.

Finally, after a retail therapy/CCT Joining experience, we returned, exhausted but informed,  to Saul Junction.

Thursday, June 1st.

Joined again by Polly Fothergill her Grandaughter Isabelle, Jan Thomas and son Phillip, a small group gathered to have a walk along the “phase 1b” section of the CCT restoration. After seeing Walk Bridge and Whitminster Lock (one to be raised, one to be reconnected to the Canal) we had a gorgeous walk along the existing canal route as far as the Government Oil Pipeline (to be buried) and Occupation Bridge (maintained)

Pictured Left to Right:

Christine Lucas, Jan Bird, Ged Bird, Lynn Hallam, Isabelle (the smaller one!), Melvynn Bann, Bob Hallam, Phillip Thomas, Jan Thomas, Polly Fothergill with Abbie (the Spaniel)

Since time was now getting short, we returned again to Saul Junction and a very welcome coffee in The Stables Café. Three boats decided to move off to Slimbridge, where we moored up overnight.

Friday June 2nd

Since we were by the famed “Tudor Arms” pub (AKA “The Patch”) we decided on an impromptu Lunch there, for which Wendy and Andrew Dyke and Annie Heron managed to join us! Great company and fine food and ale.

Shortly after lunch we moved off again to Purton where later in the evening we were met by Paul Barnett, ace historian and expert on the “Purton Hulks.”

He gave a wonderful guided tour of the hulks the presence and use of which took a few by surprise!  The planned talk on the history and demise of the Wye and Severn Railway Bridge had to be cancelled, since the rain had become more persistent. We did however agree between us to sponsor a plaque to be placed on one of the seats, recording our appreciation of the site and its’s success in preserving the G&S Canal from loss and the site’s preservation.


Saturday June 3rd.

A relaxing day spent watching the tide run in and out and observing the wrecks of the two petrol and oil barges which caused the wrecking of the bridge. (The pivot tower is behind the group)

In the evening, we held a social barbeque. Grills were shared along with the offerings, as well as the wine or drink of choice.

Pictured Left to Right  (As viewed!)

Lynn Hallam, Ethan Clutterbuck, SDue Campbell, Steve Pickover, Bruce Paul, Margaret Paul, Sue Turner, Ged Bird, Jan Bird, Martin Turner, Christine Lucas, Melvyn Bann, Beryl Smith, Bob Hallam, Geoff Smith.

Photo; Jeremy Clutterbuck

Sunday June 4th.

Our final day and organised(?) event was for lunch in the Sharpness Dockers Club..

This is well known and loved by many locals. The beer is good, the Sunday Roast (two choices of meat, numerous puddings (we had Bread and Butter pudding by my request!) and all for less than £10 per head (excluding beer!).

We said our farewells and hoped to meet again as soon as possible. A number of the boats here will go on to the next cruise to Chesterfield.

Lynn Hallam organised both a “Tall Ships” quiz and a raffle. (Thanks to members for the prizes donated). From these £35 was donated to our supported charity “Cotswold Boatmobility”

Miles Covered = 16

Locks Used = 0

Boats Attending:

Cormorant II


Now Then

Minimum Momentum

Tom Thumb