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Old Sep 8, 2007, 11:35 PM   #1
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This is Thursday evening near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

The Sharpness Canal startsabout 10 miles above the two giant bridges over the Severn Estuary separating S.Wales from England. It runs parallel to the River Severn a further 15 miles upstream allowing coastal seagoing vessels to reach the City of Gloucester.

It's little used for this purpose now, but carries substantial pleasure traffic. It's also important in flood management. The River Severn, England's biggestriver,drains a large part of the very wet Welsh Mountains. Gloucester and large parts of S.England suffered very bad 'once-in-a-century' flooding last month. This was the second almost unprecedented English flooding incident of the summer.

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Old Sep 9, 2007, 12:13 AM   #2
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This is the boatyard at the basin at the seaward end of Sharpness Canal. Out of shot to the left are Sharpness Docks, and round the corner behind the sheds is a busy marina full of pleasure craft.

The River Severn is visible in the background. Just there is the site of the Severn Railway Bridge, completed in 1879 in fierce competition with the Severn Railway Tunnel downstream, built from 1873 to 1886. The bridge was badly damaged in 1960 when two fuel barges were swept into it by fierce tides, caught fire, and set the river & bridge alight, with 5 deaths. I remember it well, because I was a small boy in S.Wales at the time, and the road bridges hadn't been built. We crossed the river on a hopelessly inadequate car ferry, or by putting vehicles on the train through the 4.3-mile tunnel.

The railway bridge was demolished in 1967. I could see thestumps of the piers on Friday, as it was low tide. The Severn Estuary & the Bay of Fundy in Newfoundland have the largest tidal ranges in the world, so crossing and navigating the Severn has been historically problematical.

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Old Sep 9, 2007, 6:40 AM   #3
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Fascinating stuff. Am I the only one reading your documentation and history? I hope not.

Aloha and thanks for sharing the history and pictures.
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Old Sep 9, 2007, 7:31 AM   #4
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Not by a long shot selvin. I like your pics and story Alan. Much appreciated.
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Old Sep 9, 2007, 8:22 AM   #5
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Bynx & Selvin wrote:
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Much appreciated.
Thanks, chaps.
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 5:35 PM   #6
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Beautiful shots Alan and great commentary.

Cal

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