Stourport is a town of dual personality!

Half of it provides for families –  with a large park with activities and a fairground – the Treasure Island Amusement Centre with 25 rides.

Half of it has been preserved for posterity retaining and enhancing the historic canal basin area.

The fairground is unfortunately brash. No, that’s unfair, all fairgrounds are brash but most fit into the general character of a place. Not so in Stourport!

The fairground receives thousands of visitors on a  sunny weekend or in school holidays. My observation is that they come largely for the park and fairground as there were very few of the thousands wandering around the canal basin area when I visited on a recent sunny weekend. The town centre has, of course, adapted to the needs of these visitors and many of its shops reflect the atmosphere of the fairground.

Having said the above a would imagine that the parents within cruising families in the school holidays would welcome a total cultural break for their children (as would the children!).

The canal basin area is very characterful with a handful of historic buildings. But these have not been presented adequately to visiting canal enthusiasts.

I feel that the town Council has very recently noticed that there are other visitors to Stourport apart from those seeking fairground attractions. They have realised that the splendid canal area has much to offer to the town. As a result they are to demolish an old and undistinguished garage building in the main street to give a view over the Clock Basin and beyond the Clock Warehouse and Upper Basin.

It could look fantastic if done properly but are the motives of the Council to enhance the town as a canal centre or as a brash family entertainment centre with secondary attractions? Will the basin be overcome with brash fast food and quick win amusements? I do hope not!

I hope they will remove the horrid boat maintenance tent shown in the third photo below and generally tidy this currently fairly scruffy basin.

View from Stourport High Street      View from Stourport High Street      Current view over basin to High Street
Above – 1st 2 photos are of current view from High Street over the buildings to be demolished. 3rd photo is the view towards High Street with the ugly boat maintenance tent on the left.

Historical Background

In 1772 the Staffs & Worcs canal entered the River Severn at Stourport. By 1812 five canal basins had been built. The town rapidly expanded and by the 1780′s there were brass and iron foundries, a vinegar works, tan yards, worsted spinning mills, carpet mills, barge and boat building yards, warehouses, shops, houses and inns. By 1795 the town comprised 1300 citizens and 200 houses

Below are links to a slideshow of  my photos taken along the canal.

There are 2 types, so that you can find the one that works best for your computer, smartphone and tablet. (If you get an Adobe Flash required error you will have to use Slideshow 2.) In Slideshow 1, hover over an image to display navigation arrows. In Slideshow 2 click on an image in the opening Index display to display a larger image with Previous/Index/Next navigation controls.

Slideshow 1 (uses Adobe Flash)
Slideshow 2

Below is a Google map marked with the views mentioned in the slideshow.


View Stourport in a larger map