Sunday, 27 September 2015

Almost forgot

So engrossed in something I was doing I almost forgot to write tonight’s post!

This morning we went for a walk around Droitwich leaving Waiouru on her secure mooring in the Netherwich Basin (BW key required to gain access to the moorings).  It’s a small town with a marked contrast between old and new.  The first part of our walk took us around the new part of the town which is rather nondescript and somewhat boring.  It wasn’t until we reach High Street that things became interesting. 

The name of the town gives some clues about its past.  The ‘wich’ means salt and the town has some similarities with towns like Nantwich and Middlewich.  Salt was extracted here before the arrival of the Romans and it didn’t cease until the 20th Century.  Initially it was relatively easy to extract from naturally occurring ponds in what is now Vines Park.  Later bores were sunk and pumps used to extract the brine.  Much of the salt was carried down the Droitwich Canal to the River Severn and on to Gloucester using a vessel known as a Wich.  A replica can be found in Vines Park.

IMG_8215 The canal is broad from the River Severn to Driotwich and then narrow from the town to Hanbury Junction.

We discovered the site of one of the last brine bores that used to be powered by a steam pump.


The ‘spa’ part of the name gives a clue as to its other history.  The taking of brine baths. 

The first thing we noticed on the High Street was the state of the buildings.  Many of them appear to be subsiding!  We assume this is a consequence of the hundreds of years of brine extraction.


The ends of the street are high and the middle appears to have collapsed.  This has affected many of the buildings on either side of the street.


This building is tilting to the right.


Whilst a building at the other end of the street is leaning in the opposite direction.  All the buildings in the street were showing signs of subsidence and it’s probably fortunate they are terraced because this appears to be what is assisting them stand.

I’m grateful to blog reader, Ade who sent me a comment and link about the restoration of the canal.  Rather than write about it I’ll post the link.

No comments :