Pershore to Tewksbury

Leaving Fladbury Lock, we arrived in Pershore mid morning, moored and strolled into the town. We were quite surprised with what we saw; none of us had any per-conceived notions about Pershore and apart from numerous Georgian style buildings, the olde-worlde high street,

Angel inn on the high street

Angel inn on the high street

it had a beautiful and historic abbey with superb grounds, but before exploring we decided to have a coffee and a bun. At a lock earlier that morning, a chap we went through with recommended a visit to Pershore, and also suggested we visited The Angel Inn for coffee, which we did and was very pleased we ignored the usual suspects such as Costa or Cafe Nero etc. Entering this old oak beamed hotel, built in Tudor times using old ship’s timbers was well worth visiting. The high street in Pershore was originally part of the main road between London and Worcester and onwards into Wales and the

Old photo of Angel Inn

Old photo of Angel Inn

Angel being a posting house as well as an inn, meant all coaches carrying mail as well as most others had to stop there. This was a “Motorway” of the middle ages with several monarchs passed by, one of which, Queen Elizabeth 1st stayed here, no doubt as a guest!! Whilst renovating the place in the 1920’s they discovered a portrait thought to be her dated i 1570.

After being suitably refreshed, we both went our separate ways; Christine and I visited what used to be an Anglo-Saxon Abby but today it is an Anglican parish church, “Church of the Holy Cross”. Looking around this quite stunning building it transpires that there is little evidence chronicled as to when, or what was originally built though there are suggestions the foundations for an abbey go back to around 670’s AD. Today’s main body of the Abby was started in 1100,

The Abbey at Pershore

The Abbey at Pershore

completed 1130, and through the ages additional bits have been added. The two main, very large, buttresses were added in 1913 to keep the building up. Unlike many Churches and most Abbeys destroyed during the reformation, Pershore was spared as the local residents purchased it as a parish church for their own use.

Walking around this pleasant town we struck upon a launderette, so back to the boat for the sheets etc., and then returned and deposited said washing. Having time to kill we

Carving in the grounds of the Abbey

Carving in the grounds of the Abbey

revisited the Angel as they had a good selection of real ale, naturally I had to try a couple!!!

This evening we had our customary “Cocktails”, but tonight we were entertained on “Doris” Simon and Margaret’s boat. After suitable refreshment we went our separate ways for supper then returned to “Doris” for another game of Phase 10, Christine won, again!!!!!

Saturday morning and Simon and Margaret who aren’t too keen travelling in the heat of the day left Pershore soon after 0700hrs, we don’t have that problem so stayed in bed.   Our arrangement was to hopefully meet up later in Tewkesbury.

We couldn’t hang around too long as the locals were having “Dragon Races” today, and were setting things up so after a flying visit to ASDA (oh dear!) we were off. The river Avon continued winding its way I

Cows trying to keep cool

Cows trying to keep cool

through the vale of Evesham, passing fields of market gardening on an industrial scale, cattle swishing their tails to clear the flies and taking things easy in the heat.   Today was also Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix so we had a time constraint and decided to stop at the only pub en-route. When we got to the moorings they were taken and whilst we were deciding our next move we grounded, the river here was so shallow we struggled to get off. Eventually we were away and said goodbye to the pub we didn’t visit.   I say they should have longer moorings.

As we sailed into Tewkesbury, under King John’s bridge, we spotted “Doris” on the moorings and as there was no other space we moored alongside. We quickly switched the “telly” on and caught the most important part of qualifying, what a relief!!!

Tonight will be our last evening together, so Simon and Margaret joined us for “cocktails” where we put the world to rights before going separate ways for supper. We then got back together again for one final game of Phase 10 that Margaret was determined to win; and she did.  We then said our goodbyes as they were aiming to leave early.   Next Morning we noted them go by as we enjoyed tea in bed!!

Tewksbury Abbey

Tewksbury Abbey

After breakfast we headed off to visit Tewksbury Abbey but being Sunday had to wait for the morning service to end. We eventually found a window of opportunity between two services to do our tour of this spectacular building started in 1102 but completed in 1121.  This abbey church, like Pershore, was sold to local parishioners for £453.00 after the dissolution of the monasteries. The grounds surrounding the abbey were simple but had some very nice sculptured Yew trees.   The abbey is also famous for its beautiful medieval stained glass window.

Stained windows in the Cathedral

Stained windows in the Abbey

The last time I was in this abbey was around the mid 50’s; it was here that I was confirmed.

Leaving the abbey we noticed the Police had closed the road off and after enquiring was told there was a military parade in the town and it was under way right now in the High Street. We hurried along to try and catch the tail end of it, unfortunately as we turned into the High Street all we heard were the dying throws of the marching band; we had arrived too late. Never mind, a quick visit to Tesco and then we headed back to the boat, it was after all the Austrian Grand Prix.

Our day was completed with Poldark before retiring; we’re off tomorrow, up the River Severn as far as we can go before heading back into the canal system.

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