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Gloucester Docks &
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News Archive 2010


Christmas Cruises Defy Ice
A second spell of cold weather did not prevent passengers enjoying pre-Christmas cruises in spite of thick ice on the canal south of Gloucester, although routes did have to be modified. Christmas lunch cruises on Edward Elgar were switched from the canal to the river, and Santa Cruises from the Waterways Museum pushed slowly through the ice before turning at Monk Meadow.

Kimbrose Steps
The refurbished steps between the north-east corner of the Victoria Dock and what will be Kimbrose Square were re-opened to the public on 18 December. The steps are part of the new pedestrian route between the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre and the city centre.

More Heritage Interpretation Boards
Four more illustrated information boards have been erected around the docks at Gloucester, featuring Ships, Warehouses, Mariners Square and the Barge Arm. A good number of direction signposts have also been set up.

Rea Bridge
British Waterways staff have renewed the decking of Rea Bridge, giving a welcome reduction in the noise of traffic passing over it.

Victoria Bridge
Contractors have finished replacing the decking of the bridge across the entrance to the Victoria Dock, and the route is once again available for pedestrians.

Ice on the Canal
A cold snap with some snow early in December caused much of the canal to be covered with ice. Some open water remained in the Main Basin at Gloucester, and this attracted an interesting collection of wild birds.

Lightship Open for Business
Lightship Sula, now permanently moored beside Llanthony Quay, opened for business on 4 December as a centre for complementary therapies such as aroma-therapy, Reiki and crystal and sound healing. The centre has a workshop area for training courses and a shop selling related products.

Organ Move
The Mariners' Chapel has been given an organ that was built for the chapel of Gloucester Prison over 50 years ago, replacing the former organ installed in 1905. The new organ was played at a special service on 28 November.

Heritage Interpretation Boards
Four information boards have been erected around the recently completed public realm work to the east and north of the Victoria Dock. Topics featured are the Victoria Dock, Railways, Back Badge Square and Public Art, and each board includes relevant old photographs and an informative map.

New Deck for Victoria Bridge
Contractors are replacing the deck of the bridge across the entrance to the Victoria Dock. The old surface was stripped off, revealing the line of the railway that once crossed the bridge, and a platform of large wooden blocks is being installed, covered by a waterproof road surface. (Photo)

Historic Crane Installed
A Midland Railway crane dating from 1902 was installed on the east side of the Victoria Dock on 9 November to be a feature on the new Kimbrose Walk linking the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre with the city centre. The crane components had been looked after by the Waterways Museum for several years, and the recent restoration and installation was carried out by Allen Prout of Newent. (Photos)

New Merchants Quay
Contractors have started work on the foundations of the new Merchants Quay development on the east side of the Main Basin. Concrete piles were formed in situ by pumping concrete into each hole drilled by an auger.

Plan for New Rowing Club
Gloucester Rowing Club have submitted plans for a new club house and boat store, designed by Roberts Limbrick Architects, on the west bank of the canal at the northern end of Hempsted Meadows. The proposal includes a slight realignment of the towpath to accommodate a landing strip for boats. (App Ref 10/01090) (Sketch)

Nexus Move
The high level skills training agency Nexus has moved from Llanthony Warehouse to Alexandra Warehouse. Nexus staff identify the needs of employers and develop appropriate tailored or bespoke training programmes in conjunction with local colleges and universities.

Docks Toilets
The toilets between Coots Cafe and the Waterways Museum have joined the Gloucester Community Toilets Scheme, making them officially open to the general public.

Memorial Stone Unveiled
A good crowd gathered on the Severn Bank at Purton on 17 October to watch Neil Carmichael, MP for Stroud, unveil a memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Severn Railway Bridge disaster when five tanker men lost their lives. (Photo) The memorial was organised by the Friends of Purton. (Website)

IWA Gathering
The local branch of the Inland Waterways Association organised a boat gathering at Gloucester on 16 October. Boats and stalls from the local canal trusts were also present.

Merchants Quay Sales Office
A marketing suite for apartments in the new Merchants Quay development opened in the basement of the adjoining Phillpotts Warehouse on 9 October. Groundwork for the new development is due to start in November.

Nielsen 56 Trawler Yacht
T Nielsen & Co are offering to build a new range of ketch rigged motor sailing vessels, combining the classic beauty of traditional boats with the refinements and comforts expected for modern cruising. The design is inspired by their recent restoration of Big Saba, a motor yacht converted from a traditional trawler hull. (More details)

Lightship Moves to Gloucester
Restored lightship Sula was towed up the canal on 2 October to a mooring beside Llanthony Quay, Gloucester. She is due to become a centre for complementary therapies. (More)

Docks Managing Agents
The staff in the docks information office in Albion Cottages transferred from Ash & Co of Gloucester to King Sturge of Bristol on 1 October, and the security staff will transfer to the Mitie Group on 1 November. Ash & Co will continue to manage the car parks and apartment blocks they are associated with.

Evocative Photos of Canal Life
A special exhibition of photographs of working life on the Coventry and Oxford Canals in the 1940s & 50s opened on 1 October at the Waterways Museum. The photos were taken by Robert Longdon who recorded the narrow boat people he met on his local waterways.

Ownership of the Purton Hulks
British Waterways has formally acknowledged ownership of the land around the Purton Hulks by registering the long strip between the canal and the Severn foreshore with the Land Registry.

Workboat Jubilee Sold
The former Severn Commission workboat Jubilee, which was in an online auction of surplus British Waterways vessels, has been bought by Dave Elwell of Limekiln Chandlers, Stourport. After a full inspection and overhaul, he intends to convert the forward hold into living accommodation while preserving the external appearance of the vessel much as it was.

Visitor on Surfboard
An unusual visitor to the docks on 22 September was a young man standing on a surfboard. He had paddled his way up the canal from Quedgeley, and after turning in the Main Basin, he went back down the canal. (Photo)

Sunken Narrow Boat Recovered
Narrow boat Angelwood that sunk in the River Severn above Westgate Bridge was recovered on 22 September after almost three weeks under water. In a difficult operation, the boat was refloated using air bags and towed to the small dry dock at Gloucester to be dried out and inspected. (Photo)

Sunken Motor Boat Recovered
The small motor boat Orca sank beside Llanthony pontoons and was refloated.

Reinforcing the Canal Bank
Contractors have started to reinforce sections of the canal bank in the Purton area using the hopper barge Pike as a floating platform for a digger. They are installing stones, held in place by wire mesh, that in due course will be colonised by plants. (Photo)

Plaque to Remember Severn Conveyor
On 19 September, a plaque was installed beside the canal towpath near the remains of the Severn Railway Bridge to mark the resting place of the former tanker barge Severn Conveyor just over the wall. Sponsored by Gloucester Yacht Club, this plaque is one of a series arranged by the Friends of the Purton Hulks.

College Boats in Docks
To allow young people to get afloat in the docks, Gloucestershire College has made an arrangement with the Waterways Museum to operate the college's kayaks and bell boats from the Museum's premises.

North Pier Repairs
Repair work on the North Pier at Sharpness, which started in March, is nearing completion. A contractor's workboat with an hydraulic arm has been used to replace many pieces of rotten timber with new pieces. (Photo)

Fines for Crossing Llanthony Bridge
The camera monitoring the ban on cars crossing Llanthony Bridge has recorded 5,767 cars in just over five weeks, and owners have been fined 60 (reduced to 30 if paid within a fortnight). Disgruntled drivers have complained that the warning signs are not clear. (Citizen 3 Sep 2010)

Council May Vacate North Warehouse
Gloucester City Council have agreed to consider moving out of the North Warehouse to make it available for a hotel or business venue. This is one option to be examined further in a study of how best to utilise surplus space in the Council's other warehouses. (Citizen 3 Sep 2010)

Duck Racing by Dredger
The Friends of the Waterways Museum organised fund-raising duck races on 30 & 31 August using their steam dredger SND No 4. Plastic ducks were lifted in the dredger's buckets and tipped on to a target on the quayside, and the people who had bought the tickets for the ducks that ended up nearest to the centre of the target won prizes. (Photo

SARA Open Day
The Severn Area Rescue Association held an open day at their base in the Old Dock House at Sharpness on 15 August. Visitors were entertained by three rescue boats in action, a range of emergency vehicles, a fine exhibition of photographs and an intrepid fund-raiser who had swum from Beachley. (Photo)

Plans for Pridays Mill
Gloucester planners have received a proposal for creating ten one-bedroom apartments in the ground floor of Pridays Mill, which was previously designated for commercial use but has never attracted a tenant. Also proposed are modifications to the adjoining mill office for use as a shop, cafe or bar, (App Ref 10/00003)

Candle Erected
A 22 metre high piece of public art in the form of a candle was erected on the east side of the Victoria Dock on 8 August with the help of two cranes. It is intended to act as a beacon on the walking route between the docks and the city centre. (Photos)

Balloon Ascent
Early in the morning of 8 August, docks residents were surprised to see a hot air balloon being inflated in front of the Mariners' Chapel. It took off, and floated away on a gentle breeze.

Burst Water Main at Sharpness
The fracture of a water main passing under the entrance to the tidal basin at Sharpness caused a temporary loss of supply to premises on the west side of the dock on 5 August. As a precaution, shipping was warned of an increase in the required minimum clearance over the cill while emergency investigations were carried out, but planned movements were not affected as the incident occurred during a period of high tides.

Sharpness Smell Complaints
Boaters and residents at Sharpness have complained about putrid smells coming from a nearby organic composting plant and a plague of flies. The Environment Agency is working with the Company to minimise the smell but believes the flies are not coming from the factory. (Gazette website)

Huge Flower Basket
An eight feet diameter wicker flower basket has been installed outside the Arts & Crafts Centre beside the lock as part of the Gloucester in Bloom displays.

Quayside Well-being
A complementary health and beauty salon has opened in the ground floor of Biddle Warehouse, offering a unique beauty, healing and relaxation experience.

Tug Resolute Broken Up
The well known former local tug Resolute has been broken up at Bullo Dock after a planned restoration there proved unsuccessful. Built in 1897, she was bought by the Sharpness Dock Company in 1903 and was mainly used to tow barges between Avonmouth and Sharpness until that traffic died out in the 1960s.

Office Development Planned Beside Victoria Dock
The Ecclesiastical Insurance Group have confirmed that they intend to build a new headquarters office between the Victoria Dock and Southgate St on what is currently a car park. Contracts have been agreed with the site owner, the South West Regional Development Agency, and staff are expected to move from the Company's existing headquarters in Brunswick Rd in 2015. (Citizen 29 Jul 2010)

New Decking For Llanthony Pontoons
British Waterways staff have started to replace the decking on the pontoons along Llanthony Quay, as they did for the Main Basin pontoons last year. The new granite reinforced plastic panels will be more slip-resistant than the former wooden slats.

Wind Turbine for Sharpness?
A renewable energy developer is proposing to put up a 70 metre high temporary wind monitoring mast on British Waterways land at Sharpness to establish whether the site is suitable for a wind turbine. A planning application is expected. (Citizen 20 Jul 2010)

New Cafe for West Quay?
Gloucester planners are considering a proposal for a new cafe under the South Point apartments on the West Quay of the Main Basin. The cafe aims to specialise in serving toast-based food for consumption on the premises and to take away. (App Ref 10/00706)

New Site for Rowing Club
Gloucester Rowing Club have bought land for a new boat and club house on the west bank of the canal at the northern end of Hempsted Meadows. They are now seeking funds for a two-storey building and for a landing strip beside the canal. (Citizen 17 Jul 2010)

Llanthony Bridge Penalties
To help enforce the ban on cars crossing Llanthony Bridge, County Highways put up signs on 12 July warning that anyone caught on the nearby number plate recognition camera would receive a penalty notice requiring payment of a 60 fine.

Merchants Quay Demolished
The demolition of the former Merchants Quay shopping centre has been completed and all the rubble removed. Building contractors Vinci Construction are refurbishing the wall of neighbouring Phillpotts Warehouse prior to the building of two blocks of flats with shops on the ground floor.

Lock Restrictions
Due to low input from feeder streams and low levels in the River Severn, British Waterways had to limit the operation of Gloucester and Sharpness locks from 5 July to conserve water in the canal. These restrictions were lifted on 16 July after a little rain had fallen, but boaters were asked to continue to help minimise lock usage.

Raft Sinks at Saul Regatta
There was a dramatic end to the Great Gloucestershire Raft Regatta at Saul Junction on 3 July which was organised by local Rotary Clubs to raise money for the Great Western Air Ambulance. A raft sunk in the final race, the crew were rescued by the Severn Area Rescue Association's boat and the raft was recovered as well. (Citizen 5 July 2010)

One Thousand Mile Round Trip
A small sailing dinghy with an outboard motor visited Gloucester on 1 July on a remarkable trip that had started in Great Yarmouth in early June and had followed the coast to Lands End and then up the Bristol Channel to enter the canal at Sharpness. The owner stopped off at Sainsbury's for vital supplies before setting off through inland waterways to the Wash, aiming to return to Great Yarmouth by the end of July. (Photo)

Helicopter Emergency
A technical fault caused a Westland Lynx helicopter to touch down next to the marina at Saul Junction on 30 June. A team of mechanics from its Yeovilton base came to investigate the fault, which was indicated by a warning of low pressure in the back-up hydraulic system. (Citizen 2 July 2010)

Burnt Out Cruiser Recovered
The hull of the small GRP cruiser that sank alongside the Llanthony Pontoons (after being badly damaged by fire) was recovered on 28 June. A diver attached four floatation bags, a boom was set up to trap any oil leakage and the wreck was towed to the large dry dock to be broken up. (Photo)

Deer Rescued from Canal
The owner of a boat moored to the Llanthony Pontoons spotted a small deer in the canal early on 28 June. He managed to get a rope around it and lift it on to the pontoons, from where it was taken away and released by the Fire Service who had been called out following an earlier sighting. 

Gondolas Visit Gloucester
A group of Venetians in five gondolas visited Gloucester on 24 June, having rowed from Stratford-upon-Avon while standing upright. Before beginning their return voyage the following morning, they demonstrated their technique while rowing around the Main Basin, culminating in a traditional salute with all oars held vertical. (Photo)

Reed Cutting
Contractors with two paddle-driven machines started their annual clearance of reeds from certain stretches of the canal on 21 June. One machine was fitted with blades to cut the reeds under water, and the second had a scoop to collect the cut reeds and dump them on the bank. (Photo)

Waverley Passengers Disappointed
When paddle steamer Waverley made her scheduled visit to Sharpness on 14 June, she was unable to come alongside the wall of the Old Dock and had to continue back down the river, leaving many unhappy customers.

Bell Boat Racing
Gloucester Rowing Club held a series of bell boat races at Hempsted on 13 June to give local people a chance to compete on water. Most of the crews came from local schools and youth groups. (Photo)

New Graveyard Signs
The Friends of Purton erected an information board on the canal towpath at each end of the barge graveyard on 13 June. (Photo) The boards were financed by British Waterways.

Floorscape Art
As part of the public realm work around the Victoria Dock, T Nielsen & Co have started laying wooden panels in the new paving at the north end of the dock. The design by Katayoun Dowlatshahi aims to create a virtual dock side with the outlines of bygone ships. (More details)

Avoid the Algae
Potentially toxic blue-green algae have been found in the canal between Saul Junction and Sharpness. British Waterways advise that if anyone comes into contact with a scum on the water surface, which can look like turquoise paint, grass clippings or floating mats, all exposed skin should be washed in clean water as soon as possible.

New Leaflet
British Waterways have published a new leaflet on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and the River Severn, featuring places of interest, where to eat & drink and how to get afloat. This is one of a series covering the whole country, each with the strap line 'My Local Canal - Our Local Treasure'.

Narrow Boat Takes Trophy
At the annual Three Clubs Regatta at the end of May, the Concourse D Elegance trophy for the best overall boat in the regatta went to narrow boat Angelwood, based in the Victoria Dock. This is the first time in the history of the event that a narrow boat has won the award, overcoming stiff competition from a fine show of motor cruisers.

Hawk in Mariners' Square
A Hawk jet training aircraft was the centre-piece of an RAF display in Mariners' Square on 31 May. (Photo) As well as looking inside the cockpit of the plane, visitors could also experience a flight simulator, a climbing wall and several exhibitions.

Three Clubs Regatta
Gloucester Yacht Club welcomed visitors from two Stourport boat clubs over the weekend 29-30 May. Over 30 cruisers and about 10 narrow boats were moored around the Main Basin, and on Sunday afternoon the crews enjoyed a variety of dinghy races, including collecting balloons and tug of war. (Photo

Quays Anniversary
Performers from Giffords Circus paraded up Llanthony Rd and through the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre on 23 May to help celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the centre. (Photo)

Merchants Quay Demolition
Contractors have started to strip off roof panels from the former Merchants Quay shopping mall. (Photo) The building is due to be replaced by two blocks of apartments with shops on the ground floor.

Boat Watch at Sharpness
Owners of boats in the marina at Sharpness are being encouraged to sign up to the Boat Watch scheme. Whilst the area is considered very safe, the scheme should provide owners with extra reassurance. (Citizen 17 May 2010)

Sea Cadets Pulling
Severn District sea cadets had their pulling boats in action in the Main Basin on 8 May. Four adults were supervising 15 cadets with a view to obtaining Pulling Instructor qualifications.

Body Found in Canal
The body of a local man was recovered from the canal near the Cineworld cinema off St Ann Way on 4 May. The police are not treating the death as suspicious. (Citizen 5 May 2010)

Arts & Crafts Centre Opened
A new Arts & Crafts Centre showcasing the work of Gloucestershire artists and crafts people in the former Antiques Centre by the lock was formally opened by shadow arts minister Ed Vaizey on 3 May. (Photo) A display area and shop is already open, and additional galleries, workshops and classrooms will open in due course.

Shadow Minister Views Docks
After formally opening the new Arts & Crafts Centre on 3 May, shadow arts minister Ed Vaizey was shown around the docks and briefly visited the Antiques Centre and the Waterways Museum. At the Museum, he showed particular interest in the interactive exhibits, the roses & castles gallery and the Vindicatrix figurehead.

New Docks Cafe Opens
The Italian-style Caffe Corretto opened on 1 May in the ground floor of the Barge Arm East apartments. The owner's aim is to create a traditional Italian cafe selling coffee, homemade cakes and sandwiches, and alcoholic drinks.

Water Voles at Patch Bridge
Water voles have colonised the canal bank on the towpath side north of Patch Bridge in spite of the lack of protective undergrowth normally associated with such creatures. As water voles are an endangered species, British Waterways are considering ways to help their survival.

Willow Trust Boat Open Day
Willow Trust volunteers welcomed visitors aboard their boat Leonard Matchan at Saul Junction on 24 April to see the special facilities for elderly and disabled people. (Photo) This was the first in a programme of Open Mornings and Afternoon Tea Cruises during the summer. (Details)

Service for Outgoing Mayor
Mayor of Gloucester Cllr Chris Witts, accompanied by civic dignitaries, attended a service at the Mariners Chapel on 11 April to mark the end of his year of office. A guard of honour was provided by Gloucester Sea Cadets who later led a procession to the North Warehouse where refreshments were served. (Citizen 13 Apr 2010)

Boat Fire at Llanthony Pontoons
A small GRP cruiser moored at Llanthony Pontoons was badly damaged by fire on 10 April, with the flames leaping over ten feet high at times. Fortunately the owner escaped with only slight burns, but a section of pontoon decking was destroyed, After drifting for a time, the burning boat was recovered by the fire brigade, but the remains later sank while lashed to the pontoons. (Photo: Susie Bayliss)

Yachts at Gloucester
Around fifteen yachts made a fine sight in the Main Basin over the Easter weekend during a visit organised by the Portishead Cruising Club. (Photo)

Arts & Crafts Shop
A new shop stocking the work of Gloucestershire artists and crafts people opened in the former Antiques Centre by the lock on 2 April. It is intended that this will develop into an Arts & Crafts Centre with a gallery, workshops, classrooms and a cafe selling local produce.

Roses & Castles at Waterways Museum
The museum's fine collection of traditional canal painted ware was reopened to the public on 2 April after not being available for the last two years. Additional items from The Waterways Trust's reserve collection were also put on show in a temporary exhibition.

New Hire Boat
The 60ft narrow boat Madison Avenue, based at Saul Junction Marina, is now available as a hire boat. (Website)

Camera on Llanthony Bridge
To enforce the ban on cars crossing Llanthony Bridge, County Highways have installed a number plate recognition camera and enhanced signage.

Plans for Lock Warehouse
The owners of the former Antiques Centre beside the lock have applied for planning permission to change the use of the building to become an Arts & Crafts Centre. (App Refs 09/00232, 09/00233)

Hens Ahoy!
On 25 March, some unusual visitors to Gloucester were spotted on a narrow boat moored to Llanthony Pontoons. The boat had a hen coop on the cabin roof with two hens in it! 

Open Day At Shipyard
T Nielsen & Co welcomed more than 100 invited guests on 21 March to look over five recently refurbished vessels - classic Bermudan ketch Halcyon, Bristol Channel pilot cutters Cornubia and Kochi, trawler yacht Nordic Star and schooner Johanna Lucretia.

New Name for Waterways Museum
The National Waterways Museum in Llanthony Warehouse is to be renamed as the Gloucester Waterways Museum. In due course, The Waterways Trust who run the Museum aim to give it a more local focus with much community input. (Citizen 16 Mar 2010)

Replica Wagons Delivered
On 16 March, two replica wooden wagons were installed on cast-iron rails mounted on stone sleeper blocks in front of the Albion Cottages. They are of the type used on the horse-operated tramroad that ran on this alignment between Gloucester Docks and Cheltenham from 1811 to 1861. (More)

New Gates at Sharpness
Two new outer gates for Sharpness, each weighing over 70 tonnes, were floated to the entrance and craned into position on 15 & 16 March, guided by specialist divers. The port reopened to shipping on 18 March, one day ahead of schedule, and the gates soon had a good test as the first ship was too big for the lock and so needed the basin to be levelled with the dock.

Sharpness North Pier
Contractors have started a major renovation of the North Pier at Sharpness. Over the next few months, they will be removing pieces of rotten timber and replacing them with new pieces. (Photo)

Hulk to Be Scheduled
English Heritage has agreed that the hulk of the Kennet barge Harriett in the barge graveyard at Purton is worthy of being scheduled, giving it a measure of legal protection, and the Culture Minister is expected to sign the relevant papers soon. The Friends of Purton hope that the scheduling of other hulks will follow. (Citizen 8 Mar 2010)

College Buys More Land
Gloucestershire College on Llanthony Quay has purchased the adjoining 125 Business Park from previous owner Frogeye Estates. The College has been using some of the units for its courses, and other units will continue to house existing businesses. (Citizen 6 Mar 2010)

Sharpness Gates Removed
The outer gates at Sharpness were removed on 5 March to make way for new gates, made in Holland. (Photo Mike Nash) The replacement gates arrived at Sharpness on a pontoon on 8 March.

Facebook Page for Local Waterways
Local British Waterways manager Nick Worthington has established a Facebook page about his South Wales and Severn Waterways. It includes news and photographs of work and events in the area, and active discussion is encouraged. (Log in to Facebook and search for British Waterways Gloucester)

Railway Lines Uncovered
Contractors clearing the area to the east of the Victoria Dock prior to repaving have uncovered over 100 yards of railway track. The lines have been lifted and will be reset in the replacement paving. (More details)

Rea Bridge Restriction
The road surface of Rea Bridge was resurfaced during the twelve days starting on 15 Feb. Boaters requiring the bridge to be opened were warned of possible delays during this period.

Sellars Bridge Stoppage
On 11 Feb, it was found that Sellars Bridge could not be opened for boat traffic. While the problem is being resolved, boats needing the bridge to be opened must book a day in advance to allow for equipment to be positioned.

Therapy Lightship in Dry Dock
The former Spurn lightship that is being converted to a therapy centre for complementary medicine has entered the dry dock at Sharpness for water blasting and painting. She is due to be moored at Llanthony Quay later in the year.

Huge Tower at Frampton Approved
A planning inspector has given Shipton Mill permission to add a glass tower to the top of their canal-side silo near Fretherne Bridge, raising the total height to 43 metres. This overturns the decision of Stroud District Council to refuse permission because of many objections from local residents. (Stroud News & Journal website 3 Feb 2010)

Approval of Malthouse Development
On 2 February, Gloucester Planning Committee approved plans for the redevelopment of the former Downing's malthouse between Merchants Rd and High Orchard St. By modifying internal features of the listed building, adding some new structures and demolishing two of the four adjoining 'cottages', the development will provide a mix of leisure, office and residential uses with circulation and ancillary spaces. 

Incubator Project in Llanthony Warehouse
Quays Creative has been established on Level 4 of Llanthony Warehouse to help fledgling businesses in the creative sector to get established. The project offers office space with supporting facilities at short-term lets together with support from the Gloucestershire Media Group, a network of hundreds of creative businesses. (Citizen 2 February 2010)

Bid for Licensed Cafe
Moves are in hand to open Caffe Coretto in the vacant unit on the ground floor of the Barge Arm East apartments. An application has been made for a license to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises and to play recorded music.

Crane Base Revealed
Contractors excavating for the foundations of a tall piece of public art beside the Victoria Dock revealed a massive brick structure with a hole down the centre. Research showed that this was the base of a crane installed during the construction of the dock in 1849. (More details)

New Car Park Entrance
A new entrance to the Southgate St car park was opened on 25 January, and the former entrance from the docks has been closed.

Water Main Damaged
Contractors preparing to repave the area to the east of the Victoria Dock damaged a water main on 22 January, leaving part of the city centre without water for a time.

New Gallery Opened
A new gallery on Level 3 of the National Waterways Museum was opened to the public on 18 January. It displays a fine collection of model boats from the Museum's reserve collection, including examples of the work of professional modellers, enthusiasts and boatmen.

Sharpness Rail Link Bid
Proactive Vision Ltd are preparing a bid for 400,000 of lottery cash to help reopen the rail link to Sharpness as part of an ambitious project to increase commerce and tourism in the area. The group has been awarded 10,000 from the Big Lottery Village SOS scheme to work up their plans, and they will hear in May whether they will be one of the finalists to appear in a six-part series on BBC One later in the year. (Stroud News 13 January)

Sharpness Entrance Gates
New gates for the entrance to Sharpness tidal basin are under construction in Holland.

Ice and Snow
After a period of cold weather, the docks at Gloucester were covered by ice on 4 January, and a good sprinkling of snow fell over the following days. (Photo) As the cold snap continued, the fountain in the docks produced some delightful icicles and some cars had difficulty climbing the ramp from the car park to Llanthony Rd. A small area of water near the lock remained ice free, and this attracted half a dozen swans and fifteen ducks.

Llanthony Priory
Llanthony Priory is now managed by a building preservation trust which is working closely with staff and students from Gloucestershire College to care for and develop the site. Students are carrying out repairs to the Victorian building, assessing local flora and fauna and preparing a website for the trust. (See website

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