The secondary school I went to was a very traditional one, with a founder’s day and a school song which started with this line. I do also remember something about it being ‘bright with gardens and rich in streams’.
We also had four different houses that you belonged to, a bit like Hogwart’s, and my house was Severn. The others were Avon, Bredon and Cotswold.
So I grew up knowing the Severn Valley quite well, at least my part of it, but have been keen to explore other areas on my UK trips. I am currently camping in Worcestershire, just outside a little village called Wolverley.
I chose this location as it is right by the canal as well so I’ve been doing some canal walks and visiting some canal heritage sites. There are also squirrels that play in front of the trees and I love seeing them.
The River Severn was a very important one in terms of trade in the area. It is the longest river in the UK and runs from its source in Wales, through the major cities of Worcester and Gloucester to join the sea near Bristol. This meant that the river, and the canals that joined it, were vitally important for trade.
I have always loved visiting canals, living so close to the one in Marsden I walked there a lot. It was doing the history of canals course with the WEA last autumn thar gave me a new appreciation of what feats of engineering they are. I love all heritage and appreciate industrial heritage just as much as the grand houses that I love.
Walking alongside this part of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal you can only marvel at the rock that had to be cut through to make the route. Many routes followed contour lines and so this canal has many bends in it.
It is also very wide in places, making it good for trade, though there are lots of locks that can still only take one boat at a time. Ultimately it was these delays that made the new railways so much more competitive, and so many were closed.
Happily there has been a lot of restoration for leisure purposes and so boats can be seen up and down this canal. Many of the houses also have their own moorings. I love the decorations in the second photo from one of the canalside houses.
I also visited Stourport on Severn, which in the Georgian era was the second biggest inland port in the UK. The canal linked with the river and with the Trent and Mersey canal, enabling goods to be transported north.
The river was very high, probably as a result of all the snow that we had last week melting. There are often floods in this area.
Thankfully the canal basins have been saved and although there is no trade now, there are places to hire narrow boats and the surrounding wharves and canal hotels have been preserved.
It has been lovely being back camping in Katy and I have not been too cold at all. There was one night where it was -3 and I woke up to ice on the inside of the windows, but I was warm and toasty with my fleeces and hot water bottles.
I have a couple of new things in her, the mandala I stitched looks very lovely and I have a cute new storage tin. A friend had a similar one which I loved so found this on Ebay.
I was also given these cute lavender sachets for Christmas and they have the same fabric as my cushion backs. So all is very pretty in Katy!
I am also planning a couple of National Trust visits and some woodland walking so will hopefully be able to post about those before I return to Ellen’s next week.
I hope that you are all having a good weekend, the sun is shining here and it feels very spring like, there are so many daffodils around which is lovely.
Whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.