On Wednesday 17th June 2015, members of the ACS had a lovely day on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.
Billed initially as a heritage trip – but once the sun rose over the yard arm and the ships grog ration was administered, any thoughts of heritage were soon forgotten as we all relaxed into a life on the water, chugging along at a sedate 3 miles per hour in the good ship “Red Robin”.
Goytre Wharf is a 200 year old former industrial site, which, in later years transitioned into a Marina and Wharf for around 120 canal boats. There are some very impressive lime kilns at the site and a lovely cottage nestled down in the bottom of the area which, in days gone by, was the Weighman’s Cottage which housed the weighing machine used to weigh coal, limestone and other goods so that a Toll could be charged to the relevant company for the use of the tramroad.
Nowadays the cottage is used as a rather picturesque holiday rental property .
This fact sheet about the canal is, although written for a younger audience, actually rather informative
And this link explains in a little more detail about the general history of the Wharf.
After some mandatory instructions about how to drive the boat safely from the team at the Wharf, ( “just give me the blooming keys will you, i’ve done it all before” ) we set sail, leaving behind the lovely setting that is Goytre Wharf.
By which time we had reached bridge 62 the mutiny had been quashed, all handbags had been retrieved and all heads returned to their rightful owners, it was time for dinner.
We did attempt to turn the boat around , but strangely enough- for some reason – nobody could quite figure out how to do it any more …………..Best leave it till after dinner .
We managed to tie it up and all disembarked safely to walk the short distance to the Star Inn
After an excellent Dinner, it was time for an afternoon constitutional so a gentle amble around the churchyard of St Illtyd,s church yard. St Illtyd’s church is thought to be of the 14th or 15th century but occupying the site of an earlier foundation church, possibly dating to the 6th century. The yew tree within it grounds is reportedly two to three thousand years old.
Sadly, it was time to return to the Wharf or risk losing our deposit on the boat if we did not return it before 5 PM, so we weighed anchor, shivered several timbers, hoisted the Mizzen Mast and set out with a following wind to ye olde Goytree Wharfee, thankfully some of us had regained sufficient mental capacity to direct the pointy end of the boat back in the general direction of Goytre by that time.
And with the Red Robin safely delivered back into the care of “Redline Boats” , it was time for a cream tea back at the Cafe.
Thanks all for watching- Till next year !