Llanthony Warehouse: Gloucester Docks
Gloucester Quays - part of the city’s historic docks area - can trace its roots back to the 1800s and was once the hub of the UK’s most inland shipping port. Today pleasure boats have replaced the ships and barges and the docks are a lively visitor attraction with year round events and family entertainment – from outdoor theatre to weekend food markets.
As an ancient port, and later when port status was granted by Elizabeth I in 1580, shipping to and from Gloucester had to navigate the treacherous tidal River Severn. The Docks and associated canal to Sharpness, completed in 1827, changed that and enabled significant growth in trade with all continents. Cargoes of grain and timber dominated, though goods including wines and spirits and oranges and lemons were brought by large sea going ships. Salt from Worcestershire was the main return cargo.
The fine group of Victorian warehouse stored imported grain for transshipment across the country by canal and railway.
A mariners chapel was built in 1849 to minister to visiting sailors. Ivor Gurney, a local composer and Great War poet, was organist here, and is commemorated by an artwork by Wolfgang Buttress.
As ships grew larger and railways and road transport took over, only smaller vessels used the docks commercially – bringing in petroleum and carob for chocolate making. Commercial use of the docks ceased at the end of the twentieth century... source
Occupying three floors of Llanthony Warehouse, the National Waterways Museum features life on Britain's inland waterways.
There are some historic craft moored around the quay side, including steam dredger SND No 4, tug Severn Progress, barge Sabrina and narrow boats Northwich, Wye and Oak.
Taking The Shot
This was one of the first shots I took after discovering my love of photography, back in Feb 2013 (on my trusty old Nikon D3100 and the 18-55mm Kit Lens)! I was on a shopping trip, visiting the quays with my wife.
The light was pretty flat, but converting to black & white (using Silver Efex Pro2) provided some added drama. I used selective contrast adjustment to add weight to the clouds and enhance the texture in the old buildings.
It's great to go back and review old photos. Personally, I feel my photography overall has advanced significantly since I took this photo. Yet, I'm still very pleased with the composition.