"GLOUCESTER - UNLOADING MY TROUBLES" Gloucestershire by JohnnySpangles
Gloucestershire Travel Guide: 623 reviews and 1,793 photos
I came across Gloucester’s Historic Docks quite by accident. I’d been staying at a bed and breakfast in nearby Nailsworth and I’d been out on the town the night before. I’d arrived back at the B&B at some ungodly hour in the morning, the house was in darkness and unfortunately I’d forgotten where the light switch was. Consequently I’d stumbled around in the dark, broken various china ornaments and fallen up the stairs twice before finally finding my room on the first floor.
Having got to the room, and by some miracle not having woken anybody up, I then realised that I desperately needed the toilet. So I left the well-lit sanctuary of my room to disappear once more into the darkness to find the bathroom and to hopefully relieve myself of seven pints of fizzy lager. After a bit more fumbling around in the dark, this time with crossed legs and a distinct sense of urgency, I managed to locate the bathroom. In no mood to even attempt to find the light-switch I quickly unzipped myself and aimed towards the dim, moonlit shape of the toilet. Widdling as I walked, whilst still trying to keep my aim, I eventually reached the toilet and let my bladder give full vent to its feelings. Once the mission had been accomplished I thought I’d better switch on the bathroom light and see what the damage was. As it happened it wasn’t that bad, considering I’d started at the doorway. There were just a few small puddles here and there, so I set about mopping them up with some toilet roll.
When my cleaning was finished I attempted to flush the sodden paper down the loo. The toilet had a manufacturer’s badge on it and proudly proclaimed itself to be the ‘Dudley Elite’. Somehow I couldn’t see The Queen of England on her knees, at two in the morning, with her hand around the U-bend trying to unblock the Dudley Elite. After the fifth flush, and the stirrings of waking guests on the landing, I decided more radical action was needed. I lifted the lid on the cistern and pushed down the ball-cock. My theory was that the cistern would fill higher than normal and thus the power in the next flush would be a supercharged tidal wave. It took about ten minutes of this before I realised that water had been pouring out of the hole where the loose-fitting handle was. The flush theory worked though and the blockage obligingly disappeared
The next morning my ‘traditional farmhouse breakfast’ was plonked unceremoniously in front of me. There was a bucket in the middle of the dining room into which the occasional drop of water plopped loudly. Looking up I noticed that the drips were coming from the centre of a large stain in the ceiling. As every plop landed, a hush came over the room and all eyes focused on me.
Another problem had also started bubbling to the surface. As well as copious amounts of lager being imbibed the previous evening I’d also rounded things off with a large old curry that was now making its presence felt. Beads of sweat appeared on my forehead as I realised that, once more, I’d have to wrestle with the Dudley Elite, and this time with solids.
My anxiety was short lived though, as my bill was placed in front of me and my baggage placed next to my table. The choice had been made for me as I was no longer welcome and my ablutions would have to be done elsewhere.
I drove towards the motorway. The best thing to do, I reasoned, was to head for a motorway service station. They would not possess such flimsy articles as the Dudley Elite as they have to deal with the comings and goings of truck drivers and their heavy loads. On my way I passed a brown tourist sign (not literally) that pointed the way to ‘Gloucester’s Historic Docks’. As things were getting very close to a crisis point I followed the sign in the hopes that such a major tourist hotspot would naturally have public conveniences.
As it was early in the morning parking wasn’t a problem, however finding the toilets was a major headache. A series of signs sent me running around in circles with one hand desperately clutching my backside. When I did finally find them, they were closed and weren’t due to open until ten o’clock. I sank to my knees and sobbed. So it was that Gloucester’s Historic Docks witnessed the historical re-enactment of a large amount of cargo being unloaded over the quayside.
Once my nightmare was over I had time to look around. There’s a canal boat museum and an advertising ephemera museum called the Robert Opie Collection. I would heartily recommend the latter as being of interest. Unfortunately my enjoyment was cut short when the police eventually caught up with me and told me they had all the evidence they needed via the CCTV cameras.
So I won’t be going there again.
- Pros:Interesting advertising museum
- Cons:Kharzis don't open until ten o'clock
- In a nutshell:Do it in your pants to avoid prosecution.
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