Monday 13th September
We spent the day in Upton and visited the very interesting local museum. It's small but has a lot on show detailing life around the area from about 1800 to the 1960s. There is also a small visitors centre housed in the tower, called The Pepper Pot, which is all that remains of the old church. Here you can learn about life in the area from Medieval times right up to the present day.
Interestingly Upton is flooded occasionally by the River Severn, which has a huge up rise and fall with the rain. The local council wants to put in flood defences but we have been told that many of the local people don't want them because they will spoil the view and change the character of the place. It will be interesting to see the outcome of a meeting to sort this out.
During the morning when some boats had left we moved our boat to the outside of the mooring pontoon so that we could get a TV signal. Very shortly several boats came along and soon we were moored 3 deep on the short pontoon. Upton is a popular place and really should have more visitor moorings.
Tuesday 14th September
Despite the rain we decided to move on today. As I've said, so far we have been fairly lucky with the weather so a bit of light drizzle isn't too much to bear.
Lyra plodded her way north passing occasional villages set back from the river, none offering the casual passer by a chance to stop. After a few hours we reached Digliss Locks, a side by side pair of large Severn Locks, which we shared with a hire boat who was having all sorts of trouble controlling the craft. Soon after this we came upon Worcester and turned into Digliss Bottom Lock, the beginning of the Worcester-Birmingham Canal. There are two locks here and it was a bit of a shock after so long on the Severn to have to work the locks ourselves. This lock and the next were particularly difficult to operate. Even the BW man who looks after the area agreed that they were ***** difficult and told me that BW had been saying for years that they would do something about it, but nothing ever happens. These locks took us up 18' to the Basin level.
We moved up as far as the visitor moorings and have stopped for the night. We were going to continue on the river to Stourport tomorrow, but have now decided to stay here for a day and then continue up the canal to Birmingham.