Industrial Archaeology Recordings

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Raising the Spry

Inland waterways, Compilation No.36

Spry on a low loader passing through WorcesterBackground

In the late 1970's the last River Severn trow (the 'Spry') lay as a derelict heap in the mud of Diglis canal basin, Worcester. Once a common sight on the Severn and Wye navigations these sailing barges played a major part in the 18th and 19th Centuries transporting goods on the River - particularly from the expanding industries of the Severn Gorge, Shropshire.

The Spry passing under Telford's Stretton Aqueduct on the 'Shroppie'In a bid to preserve this unique craft, the Upper Severn Navigation Trust and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust decided to recover the vessel and restore it to how it would have looked in 1894.

This recording follows the first step in the journey - the recovery in March 1983 of the 'Spry' from the canal at Diglis and the transport of the vessel to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum site at Blists Hill, Telford, where restoration was to take place.


A more detailed record of the recovery, restoration and eventual sailing of the 'Spry', complete with commentary is available as the "Spry - the last Severn Trow" a co-production with the 'Spry Trust'.

Spry craned out of Diglis basin


  • This compilation has no commentary.
  • NGR: Various
  • £ 10.00 - DVD
  • Running Time: 25 mins.
  • Recorded March 1983
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • 'PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.


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