Huge Abandoned Boat Graveyard Gloucester & Sharpness Canal


Thank you very much for watching and welcome
to Sharpness. This is right at the very end of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and
you can, if you were brave enough, go out onto the River Severn here and travel all
the way down to Bristol. Instead, I will be returning back up the Gloucester and Sharpness
to the city of Gloucester. Sharpness is one of Britain’s most inland
ports, and the tidal range can be up to 10 metres in the Spring. Originally there were
no port facilities here, and boats would travel up the canal to the city of Gloucester. I’ll hopefully make a single turn at the
end of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal in front of the entrance to Sharpness Marina. Passing through the giant columns that once
supported the Severn Railway Bridge, I’ll head north towards Purton. This short stretch
is the closest the canal and river get to each other and on the banks of the river is
Purton Ships Graveyard. At Sheperd’s Patch on the western side,
is WWT Slimbridge. This is home to several wetlands and decades of conservation have
occurred here. You’ll often find the resident swing bridge operator at Cambridge Arms
Bridge out with his binoculars spotting wildlife that has strayed from the wetlands. Heading nearly north again I’ll moor up
just past Splatt Lane which is on the southern side of the village of Frampton on Severn.
I featured this village in my first Gloucester vlog over two years ago.
[Music] So, I’ve turned around right at the end of
the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal at Sharpness itself. There’s a big wide area expanse of
water there, so you can turn around really easily. Lovely days cruising ahead of me today. In 1909 the riverbank between the Gloucester
and Sharpness Canal and the River Severn partially collapsed. There were serious concerns that
there would be a breach. As the canal has no locks or even stop locks
due to its width, if there were a breach, the entire canal would drain out, making it
completely unnavigable. A whole range of boats throughout the British
Isles was brought in to be deliberately beached. This would create a makeshift tidal erosion
barrier and reinforce the damaged bank. Eventually, 96 vessels ended their life here,
and it’s the most extensive collection of maritime artefacts on the foreshore of mainland
Britain today. The boat graveyard is free to visit and is
accessed via Purton Lower Bridge and a short walk along the towpath.
[Music] It makes me laugh. It’s just like on the roads,
I’m going quite fast – a lot faster than I could do on a canal and of course two cruises
come along and they overtake me. There’s no point really because just around
the corner here, we all have to wait for the bridge to open. Just like you have to wait
at traffic lights or at a roundabout or something. But still. Here at Purton Bridge there are two swing
bridges very, very close to each other and they’re both operated at the same time by
the same Canal & River Trust staff. There’s no mooring allowed in between so it just means
that you’ve got to make a quick hop between the two because obviously, the roads are closed
and people can’t walk across. With regards to speed on the Gloucester and
Sharpness Canal, because it’s a very, very, deep canal and very wide, there’s a huge expanse
of water and you hear the engines of, especially sort of the older narrowboats, ‘mmm’ and think, oh
gosh, the boats going to rock all over the place, because hearing that sort of sound
on a canal, you would have things falling out of cupboards. Gloucester and Sharpness
doesn’t matter, people bomb up and down, especially the huge two, three, four-tier large cruiser
boats. They can go really quite fast. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really affect the
boat, it’s purely because of the expanse of water and it just dissipates in expanse. [Music] I don’t know if you can remember but the first
year of having Alice I bought her down onto the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Now I
use Google Maps and the satellite view to remind myself of where to park, where I can
moor up and things and the really strange thing, I was looking, I was zooming in on Google
Maps and I thought, hang on a minute, that looks like my boat and yes it was. Just literally
where this other boat is, is where I first moored up and Google satellite, up in the
sky has taken a screenshot of Gloucestershire with me moored there. Now yes you often
see your car sitting on your drive at home or even at work. But if you take your work and your home and
move it around the country every two weeks it was quite surprising to actually see my
boat moored somewhere. So this is Splatt Bridge. just down the road from Frampton on Severn.
Personally, I think this is absolutely fantastic mooring spot. You’ve got lovely views across
the River Severn. There’s a car park at Splatt Bridge itself and a lovely village to walk
down and through. There’s a cafe there, there’s a pub there and a really well-stocked shop
as well. The guy that operates the swing bridge here is really nice, it’s just a fantastic
place to moor up for a good couple of weeks. I want to thank viewer Stuart Eaker from Charleston
in South Carolina in the United States for his Journey with Jono support. Also, I’d like to thank Andrew Risso,
who has chosen the top tier on Patreon. He is from two states north of Stuart in Virginia.
Thank you both of you. In the next vlog, I continue to travel north
on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal to the City of Gloucester and I discover a stone
that is said to have magical powers. Until next time, see you later.

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