Tewkesbury in old picture postcards volume 1

Tewkesbury in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Charles Hilton
:   Gloucestershire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2133-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Tewkesbury in old picture postcards volume 1'

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29. Continuing the walk along the towpath, we quickly come to King John's Bridge. It was completed in 1197, and a plaque on the side of the parapet gives brief details of its history. The tolls of the Wednesdey and Saturday markets were given by the King for its upkeep. It underwent rep airs in 1638 and 1729, and in 1747 four of its seven arches, not in the picture, were rebui1t because of damage when the Avon flooded. In 1958 it had to be reconstructed and widened to meet the demands of modern motorised transport along the busy A38 road. Nevertheless, care was taken to pres erve something of its Medieval character as seen in this 1908 view of three of its arches spanning the New Avon.

30. Cross the road, and a stretch of the Avon lies ahead. It has always been a popular river for those who find p1easure in rowing, boating and yachting. The boat-building firm is Bathurst's, and the steam boats drawn up by the bank near the bridge carried families on holiday, or were hired for trips of shorter duration up-rivet. The steam barge on which a man is working was used as a general-purpose vessel to carry equipment for running repairs to holiday craft in trouble on the river, It was powerful enough to be used as a tug whenever necessary. The date is 1910. The iron railway bridge was dismantled when the 1ine was closed some twenty years ago, and there is now nothing left of the house and beat-building premises. The site awaits development!

31. Regattas, such as the one at Cowes, Isle of Wight, featured prominently in Edwardian society. Not to be outdone, any town, large or small, situated on or near a river, would put on its own version of the great national event. Tewkesbury's regatta, held on the Avon, was a truly festive occasion as the one above, held in 1908, indicates. The far bank, as viewed from the Ham, is crowded with people on pleasure bent, with refreshments and amusements available in the many marquees erected for the purpose. The race between boats, each rowed by four women and steered by a cox, shows the increasing role of women in the more strenuous sports.

32. At the turn of the century, trips up the river Avon were a great delight, and the S.S. Jubilee was the favourite river baat for organised outings. Members of Sunday schools, churches, clubs and societies, all chartered the boat for special excursions, as have members of the Masonic Grand Lodge embarked here for an evening's outing up-river. A sluice, just a litt1e way upstream, had to be given a wide berth, for occasionally lives were lost when small boats were swept over it. The beat-builder's yard and house have been demolished, and the only river boat engaged in short trips for tourists puts out from Riverside Walk. Smaller craft can also be hired by the hom. House-boats for family holidays, and other types of craft, are still available for hire from the site shown here.

33. This scene of a man quietly fishing from a boat in 1906 contrasts very markedly with the same scene today, Now, most fishing is done from the banks and not from boats, simply because the increase in river traffic causes tied-up fishing boats to bob about too much for the fisherman's liking. The tirnber-framed building at the corner of the street is the Black Bear Inn, but many of the Medieval and Tudor buildings grouped behind the telegraph pole have been pulled down. In Victorian and Edwardian days, King John's Bridge and the Causeway to Mythe Hili made a favourite walk on a Sunday afternoon. Promenaders would pause to watch any activities on the river, and then stroll along to the foot of Mythe Hill. Just off the road they would make for the path and steps leading to the Mythe Tute, a viewpoint much beloved by George UI during his visits to Tewkesbury over a century earlier.

34. The road to Ledbury branches off at the foot of Mythe HilI and is carried over the Severn by Thomas Telford's iron bridge. It is a handsome structure, and was opened to vehicular traffic in 1826. A notabie feature is the tal! Gothic arches of the stone abutments which give it a light appearance, and al!ow the flood waters to race through them. lts single arch has a span of one hundred and seventy feet. Although the bridge has not altered since this southward-facing view of it was taken in 1910, the surrounding countryside has undergone great changes. In the field in which the haystacks are being built is a hollow. It is an old worked-out clay-pit of the 18th century, no longer to be seen, for it is completely covered by the large and modern water-works run by the Severn-Trent Water Authority.

35. This northward-facing view of Mythe Bridge, taken in 1899, shows the old water-tower and cottages. They were built ten years earlier by the Cheltenham Corporation. The cottages are still in use but the tower has been demolished. The concrete reservoir which held 150,000 gallons of water is discernible in front of the cottages, but is now no longer functional. On top of the hili by the edge of the river is a man-made mound, variously ascribed to the Celts, Danes, and Normans. The hill is the Mythe Tute, and 'Tute' means 'a look-out hill'. It is likely, therefore, that the mound at one time had a military purpose. The view from its top is spectacular. The steep cliffs beside it are of red marl, and woad, now a rare plant in the wild, was reported in 1881 as 'making the cliffs a mass of yellow in May'. A few specimens still survive.

36. The purpose of the open arches in Telford's design of the Mythe Bridge is in evidence here as the fast-flowing flood waters of the Severn pass through thern, thus lessening the pressure on the foundations. From time immemorial the low land all round Tewkesbury has been subject to flooding as it is part of the natural flood-plain of the rivers. This scene of the 1903 flood is therefore not an unfamiliar one, except that work carried out from 1920 onwards has largely prevented the inundation of roads. The Ledbury Raad, on the right of the photograph, is weil under water. In previous centuries, the low ground was meadowland, producing hay, and a rich aftermath for grazing cattle and sheep. By raising the banks of the Severn, sorne of these meadows have now become arabie land, producing wheat and barley.

37. At the top of Mythe Hili stands the ancient manor house of Mythe and Mythe Hooke, now called King John's CastIe. Tradition has it that it was built by King John, when he was Prince, in 1197, within the inner bailey of a former wooden castIe. From 1230 to 1539 its revenues supported the Abbey and monastery. When the latter was dissolved, Mythe Manor, with its chapel, met the same fate. The staircase tower, for some reason, was left intact, and soon afterwards the gable wing was built on to it out of the stone lying around. The estate was split up and sold during the 18th century. At the time of its ivy-clad appearance here, 1903, the house was occupied by the gardener of a large house built within its grounds round about 1830. The Lias limestone of which the manor house is built was quarried only a few yards away.

38. A bilI was introduced into Parliament in 1853 to build a loek and weir at the Upper Lade, Tewkesbury. The work was carried out by the Severn Navigation Company, and the new loek was ceremoniously opened in 1858. lt was the largest loek of its kind in the country for it could accommodate a steam tug and as many barges as it would normally draw. Here, in 1895, the S.S. Atatanta is in the loek; she not only pulled barges but, as her winching equipment shows, she was a repair and rescue vessel for any craft in trouble on the river. Until the end of the Great War in 1918, barges were a familiar sight on the Severn. The wheat barges bound for the Borough Mil! (Healings) had, of course, to pass through it. The mil! has three motorised barges and two dumb barges which bring in wheat today.

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