High Orchard Bridge Repairs Delay Bessie Ellen Tall Ship Tour

The crew of the Bessie Ellen faces a race against time to prepare for an around Britain tour, as repairs to the High Orchard Bridge impede their journey. Owner Nikki Alford emphasizes safety but acknowledges the challenge of dismantling and reassembling the ship's rigging to pass under the bridge.
Share it now

The High Orchard bridge in Gloucester is currently undergoing repairs after cracks were discovered during an inspection in March. This has caused a delay for the crew of the Bessie Ellen, a traditional West Country trading ship, who are preparing for an around Britain tour to mark the ship’s 120th anniversary. The tall ships are unable to sail under the bridge until the repairs are completed, leading to a race against time for the crew.

The crew of the Bessie Ellen have brought in a crane to take down all masts and rigging in order to pass under the bridge, with plans to put them back up once they reach the other side. Owner and Master Nikki Alford expressed the challenges of navigating the bridge with a tall ship, stating it is a time-consuming process. The repairs have been further delayed by strong winds, causing closures of the bridge to road traffic and leading to traffic chaos in the area.

The Canal and River Trust is working to complete the repairs by the end of the month, ensuring the bridge is returned to its original condition. Safety is a top priority, with closures necessary during high winds to prevent any accidents. Despite the delays, the crew of the Bessie Ellen remains determined to begin their expedition later this month, with hopes of completing the journey around Britain to celebrate the ship’s anniversary.

Source .


Share it now