Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Winter in Stourport-on-Severn
After our first season on Gecko we arrived in Stourport at the beginning of November 2006 to rest up for the winter. Time to replenish the coffers, scrape off the barnacles and to touch up the scrapes on the paintwork.

2006 had been a busy year. Our first venue was Marsworth at the end of May where we visited the Wendover Arm canal festival. We, in turn, were visited by hordes of friends from the area which really set us up for the year.
Our next appointment was Colne in Lancs to attend Doug's wedding to Gemma on August 19. We managed to take Gecko to a point on the Leeds-Liverpool canal within four miles of Doug's house .
We also made two trips to Stourport for work to be done on Gecko, one involved being lifted out of the water for a week in the hottest week in July. A steel tube is not the most comfortable place to live in a heatwave!
Our arrival at York Street lock in Stourport we were greeted by friends who had arrived before us with their boats and with whom we were to share a mooring until the end of March. All this greeting was observed by a group of German tourists who assumed they were witnessing the return of local celebrities. And who were we to gainsay that belief?

For most of our stay in Stourport, Margaret worked at two nurseries in Bath and we met up at weekends either in Bath or Stourport. Meanwhile I kept Gecko warm for Margaret's return.

As you can see from the photographs, the weather in Stourport is not always sunny.
48 hours after it rains in North Wales the river in Stourport responds adn sometimes it is quite dramatic. Here the river is 15ft above normal and the lock which usually takes you down to the river is submerged.

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, British Waterways has been restoring much of the canal basin in Stourport and has even dug out one of the basins which had been filled in 80 years ago
This might seem like a wholly laudable project but at least one old basin was reburied complete with the remains of old boats because its restoration would have reduced the development value of the land.

However tomorrow we are heading down the River Severn to Worcester to start our 2007 season. and it hasn't been raining in Wales for two weeks!

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