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I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours at Gloucester Docks this week. It was a perfect day with blazing sunshine, blue sky and not a cloud in sight – perfect, that is, for an ice cream not photography!

The Docks can be traced back to 1783 when the site was proposed as a terminus for the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, enabling larger ships to reach the city than would be possible on the tidal reaches of the River Severn. The distinctive warehouses were an important part of the development and it wasn’t long before railways joined canals in transporting goods onwards to the industrial Midlands. Improvements continued into the ‘60s but increasingly goods traffic moved to the roads and by the ‘70s, the older docks in particular, were more popular with pleasure craft. However, the presence of the warehouses made the docks an ideal location for filming historical dramas, the Onedin Line being the best known. These two factors contributed to the renaissance of the area and although no longer a bustling commercial hub the docks still have a working boat yard and the warehouses are now home to museums, apartments, shops and restaurants – a wonderful place for an amble and a spot of photography.

With the conditions in mind I decided monochrome would work best and set out to capture the ‘old world’ charm focussing my efforts (excuse the pun!) on the older craft and warehouses. The slight brown tone and ragged border were added in post processing to provide the finishing touches.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

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