The town of Dervizes, located in Wiltshire, U.K., is as is so many in Britain, a historical market town that has a great many sites to explore and enjoy – one of the notables is the Wadworth Brewery, a relatively “new” company that has only been producing a line of brewed potables since 1875. One touch of class is that they deliver to pubs in a 5 mile radius of the brewery in their own horse drawn wagons, powered by a couple of their Shire draft horses, Monty, Max and Archie and Sam. When not on the beer delivery route, the horses serve as sometime taxis, are entered in shows and as you would suppose, as well known in England as the Busch Clydesdales are in the U.S.
Wadworth provides tours and tutored tastings of their product line, which we will be availing ourselves of on our next visit.
This trip, we were making a flying stop on our way to Heathrow, to see the famous locks. For those born in areas without meaningfully navigable waters and after the advent of video games, this type of lock is not something to secure a place, nor something placed on someone else’s lips, but a series of doors in the water that will lower or raise a boat to the level of the water found up or downstream of the lock.In the case of the Dervizes “flight” of locks, 16 in number descending Caen Hill, dropping, (or raising) a total of 247 feet, are all powered by….humans. As seen each lock has two doors. The boatman, or more likely, his wife, climb out of the narrow boats usually seen in this area, places the largest muscle in the body against the white beams and leans back against the boom, moving it in a 90 degree arc to parallel the water, which opens the door to enter. Once the boat is inside the lock, the outgoing door is opened, after water is let in or out, to raise or lower the boat to the next level. There are some Olympic quality backsides and legs in the area!
These locks, 29 in all, were completed in 1810 and are still in daily use, many, many times. The area is beautiful and well worth a visit, even by the video driven souls…
Feed the swans – tuppence!
The native narrowboats are often to hire, by the day or for even extended stays and can be used to get from one side of England to the other via the various rivers and purpose dug canals.