Olives, Elephants and Explosives

April 2nd 2019

A meander along the Avon from Wyre to Pensham with Keith Goddard.

Chairman introduced the meeting by pointing out the Saxon sculpture now revealed on the back wall in St. Andrews Hall previously hidden by the piano. One of life’s mysteries as no-one knows what or from where but is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.

Keith presented a collection of photographs illustrating life as it was on and along the Avon starting with Osier and Tiddle Widdle Island opposite the Anchor Inn in Wyre Piddle. There was also a ferry that operated taking customers from Wick with no pub to the Anchor in Wyre.

Renovations to the locks in Pershore were illustrated with clips of Pisgah the boat used for carrying grain to Pershore Mill from Gloucester before road transport took off. Pisgah is a peak in the Mount of Olives from where Moses saw the Holy Land. The boat was sold in 1922 and is now a houseboat based in France.

Views were shown of Weir Meadows where the circus paid an annual visit with elephants being taken across the road for a swim in the shallower waters.

Watergate near Pensham
Watergate near Pensham

Clips were shown of the coal wharf serving Wick and Pensham together with the Watergate which was destroyed with explosives by the Royal Engineers at the request of LANT although the blast was apparently larger than expected. The remaining stonework can often be seen amongst the reeds adjacent to what was once Sanders Boat Hire.

Fascinating meander along the Avon.