10 March Day 11 – Elmore Back

The Salmon

Drove with Mike and Angela to Elmore Back south west of Gloucester on the River Severn.  The 1861 Census shows Caleb Webb my GG Grandfather on my Grandmother’s side (her father) lived at 80 Victoria Street – near the Salmon Inn – with the widow Sarah Spiers (pronounced SPY-ERS) aged 81 and her unmarried son George aged 51. George was a fisherman, a job that Caleb was to have all his working life.  George Spiers was a witness at the marriage of Caleb to Elizabeth Holbrook as was Thirza Buckle who my Aunt Dorothy recalls as being her Godmother.  Next door at number 81 lived more Webbs – George and Ann with their 6 children.

The Salmon Inn is over 400 years old, was sold as a house in 1946. According to the current owners, Harold and Primrose Heaysman, the Salmon Inn was originally a 2 up 2 down.  Harold Heaysman kindly showed us the old bar-room downstairs and the extension that he single-handedly built.

Angela and Harold in the former Salmon Inn bar-room

Inside the bar-room, most of the ceiling timbers are original.  The floor is tiled because of the regular floods around the time of the Bore (a large tidal wave).  While we were there, a local Rotary Club was setting up a marquee farther up the road so visitors could attend the  “Breakfast with the Bore” see link at http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=1880.  The Severn Bore occurs monthly whenever the tide reaches more than 9 metres.

Caleb Webb drowned in the Severn at Elmore Back in 1886.  A newspaper report of the time said:

“The body of Caleb Webb, fisherman, of Elmore Back, who was drowned in the Severn near that place on the 14th May, was recovered on

The River Severn at Elmore Back, near where Caleb Webb was drowned.

Wednesday night last.  On the date named he was at work on the Severn with a man named Thomas Clarke, when the boat capsized, and Webb was seen to swim a short distance and then sink.  Nothing more was seen of him until Wednesday evening, when Clarke saw his body floating about near the place he was seen to sink.”

He was buried a few days later.  Unfortunately the records of his post mortem have not survived as Coroner’s Inquest files for this period were sent for salvage during WWII.

To Framilode, but the Ship Inn’s kitchen was closed, so off to Frampton on Severn to the Bell Inn, where we had lunch and visited the Gloucester Old Spot Pigs.

Distance travelled:  44.9 miles/72.3 km


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