My daughter and her husband had planned to take me to Trelleck today to see an ancient well and some standing stones but without warning the Severn Bridge was closed for some reason. So plan B came into operation and we headed for the Boats Graveyard at Purton which has become quite an attraction since I saw it many years ago. All the old barges, lighters and other craft which had become obsolete or not seaworthy were beached along the bank of the Severn at Purton in an effort to save the bank from erosion. It must be 30 years since I last went as I remember them as timber hulks looking almost like the skeletons of huge animals lying in the grass. Since then they have been filled with concrete to strengthen them and you can now only just recognise where the timber frames would have been. The photo above was taken from the footpath on our way to the boats.
I used the zoom lens to get a look at that cliff.
The hedges were full of lovely old twisty trees with ivy climbing them.
The river looks deceptively shallow when the tide is out but it comes racing in at an alarming speed. People have often been caught out and many have drowned while trying to walk across where they see the sand.
This lady came to make sure we were behaving ourselves .......
and this one made sure she kept herself between us and her calf.
At last we came to the hulks - this one is almost beyond recognition as a boat. It looks a bit like a strange fish with big eyes and a tiny mouth.
I have no recollection of this disaster as we were not living in the area when it happened but it must have been a terrible tragedy.
Each boat has a commemorative plaque set into the grass alongside recording it's name and other details, and there is a tall memorial column listing all their names.
There is very little left of the original wooden framework as you can see here. I have posted these in the wrong order - I took this closeup after the one below as I liked the texture of the disintegrating timber.
We decided to walk back along the canal towpath which runs parallel to the river at this point.
I made a mental note to come back in time to do a bit of blackberry picking - there should be a very good crop this year.
Some rather lovely locals.
There must have been literally thousands of these tiny fish in the canal. We also saw a mallard and several chicks - they were so sweet but the light was wrong and didn't show up on my photo.
We sat in the shade of this tree to enjoy a cooling drink. It is outside a very oldfashioned and rather scruffy but quaint pub with no pretentions but a good reputation. I couldn't identify the tree but liked the look of it's bark and this intriguing hole where a branch has been taken off.
We needed to find some shade in which to sit and have our picnic lunch so headed off towards Uley and Cam Peak. There are wonderful views right across the Vale of Berkley and as we ate our lunch we watched the gliders from nearby Nymphsfield being towed upwards and then flying silently overhead to come to land again. My daughter's little dog wasn't too keen on them and barked if they came too low.
There are lovely views in all directions.
I have just about recovered from all that sunshine and fresh air. It was a lovely trip but I'm so glad I took a sun hat with me. The good thing is they tell us we might get another two weeks of it.