The Grand Western Canal provides wonderful level walks and bike rides along its nature-adorned tow paths. It extends for eleven and a quarter miles from the basin in Tiverton, East Devon, through quaint and charming villages to Lowdwells, near the Somerset border.
Perhaps the greatest attraction on the Canal is the much-loved horse-drawn barge based at the start of the canal in Tiverton. It is a beautiful wide beam, 75-seater horse-drawn barge and the same boat has been taking passengers for trips along the canal since 1974. The Devon section of the GW Canal is now a designated country park.
My photographs below were taken on a beautiful summer afternoon when I undertook a trip on the ‘Tivertonian’.
I have covered some of this information before on one of my blogs, which can be viewed by clicking on: ‘The Canal Horse’
The video below was made by The BBC, ‘One of the Last Horse Drawn Barges in the UK’ was filmed on the Grand Western Canal in Devon UK.
Following my series of photographs of Bath on my last week’s photo-blog, I today feature a number of photographs centring on Bath’s position on the beautiful River Avon and its associated canal – the Kennet and Avon.
Town Bridge at Bradford-on-Avon, approximately seven miles from the city of Bath
On the Great Western Canal at Tiverton, Devon . . . Photo – WHB – 2013
THE CANAL HORSE
Sedate And ponderous He carries his weight lightly But without pace It is summer work Plying the bank Subject to the weather And his master Apparently contented But perhaps sad Would he rather be elsewhere But what would he know Of elsewhere This has been his life His only life Since brought into this world Delivered as a foal by a mother Who knew only this very same life Tutored on this very canal bank Learning the towpath’s bends Its tricky turns The track ruts to avoid The necessary manoeuvres When hitching up H is purpose in life Why else was he brought into this world He knows his master Trusts and Respects him Always by his side His every command Gentle but firm A tug on the lead A wary grunt They tread the canal bank The towpath to pleasure Other’s pleasure His Pilgrim’s Way The daily round His common task
On the Great Western Canal at Tiverton, Devon . . . Photo – WHB – 2015
Broken only at the terminus A half-way respite By the bridge A brief uncoupling A hay bag A nuzzle A few photographs Then the return The narrow boat his carriage Its passengers his charges He carries on Always carries on Trundling his life In peace In tranquillity His boat His harnessed heritage Disturbing the reeds And the ducks only Creating a minor slipstream Before the end Disembarkation Then a brief hiatus Before the ever echoing pattern Repeats itself As do the days And the months Until Darkness descends And time Ceases to exist
On the Great Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon . . . Pen & Wash by WHB – 2013
This canal ride is offered during the Summer months on one of the last Horse-Drawn Barges in Great Britain. Scheduled rides on the canal boat start and end from the point where the Great Western Canal commences, in Tiverton, East Devon. Details of what is on offer at this delightful site and timetable of the canal trips can be found on the website below . . .