The sun shone, the mini-bus turned up and eleven of us got on for the club’s day out.
We stopped for coffee at the Riverfront Centre at Newport and had a pleasant stroll and took some photos of the new Steel over the Wave artwork, the old castle, bridges old and new over the river Usk. Onwards to the Transporter bridge, one of only two in the UK, the other being in Middlesborough. A few intrepid members much to the amazement of the rest of us, climbed the high flights of steep metal steps to cross over the high level walkway by way of a narrow metal grill before making their way down to the other side of the estuary! The more sensible members travelled sedately across with the minibus on the cradle below. Afterwards, we climbed up to see the winding gear up close.
A good lunch at the Blaina Wharf pub then onto Newport Wetlands on a very warm afternoon with a walk over the wobbly walkway down to the half size lighthouse on the edge of the river Severn with views across to England. The visitors centre offered a welcome respite from the heat and the opportunity to have an ice-cream and watch birds from the comfort of the cafe.
Our final stop was an industrial estate on the outskirts of the city, an unlikely venue for one of the most exciting maritime discoveries ever made in the UK. The remains of a 600 year old medieval ship discovered at the site of the Riverfront complex, where we had coffee earlier. Our guide Tim gave a fascinating talk and tour of the exhibits which took us to Spain where the boat was built and back to Newport where it was brought for repair before falling into the river Usk where it reminded hidden until modern times. The painstaking research and skills needed to conserve the remains of the boat together with the enthusiasm of the volunteers was very evident. We look forward to visiting again in 2019 when the work starts to rebuild the medieval boat to its former glory.
Finally back to Cardiff, tired but happy. A big thank you to our organiser Patricia for planning such a great series of visits in one day.