• Stacks Image 3
  • Stacks Image 6
  • Stacks Image 9
  • Stacks Image 12
Stacks Image 6782
A close call! On this day, 23rd March 2020, Wye Invader Two returned to Sharpness at 5pm, after escorting Innisfree (now re-named NutCracker) to Bristol via Portishead. That night at 7.00pm Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ordered the first UK lockdown. Had Wye Invader Two missed the tides that day or been delayed, she and the crew would have been forced to stay onboard in Portishead Marina, until the 10th of May. See the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndUajz2OnQQ or read the skippers log in full https://www.wyeinvader.uk/wi2/bristol2020/

By coincidence, 23rd March in 1989 was the day the original 38 metre, 230 tonne Wye Invader left Penzance on the start of her journey to Hereford, the story of that is told here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9LMtTCZdLE

Wye Invader - The Impossible Journey?

Fit My Video Tag

The Story

Stacks Image 142
First built in Holland in 1930, the Wye Invader was originally named “Luctor”. There is some evidence (although sadly undocumented) she had an extra section fitted and was seconded by the German Army to become part of ‘Operation Sea Lion’, the German plan to invade Britain by sea that was scrapped in 1940.

In 1970 she was owned by the Hooiveld family who re-named her “Zwerver” and the family lived on board for several years. The Barge had several more owners in the years that followed and was finally bought as “Zilvermeeuw” by Frank Barton, a garage owner from Hereford who re-named her “Wye Invader” and who had plans to turn her into a floating restaurant moored in Hereford, UK. Planning Permission was later granted for this.

The Barge crossed the Channel, rounded the South Coast and turned into the River Severn Estuary. At Chepstow she joined the River Wye, navigating several tight, well known bridges and then the famous Symonds Yat Rapids. The journey to Hereford of 75 miles was to take longer than planned due to low river levels that summer and she reached her final mooring just above the Old Wye Bridge, Hereford on the 11th November 1989, the actual journey time was 20 hours spread over the 6 month period. The magazine Waterways World published 2 articles about the Wye Invader you can read here.
If you’ve ever driven along the A466 in the Forest of Dean and wondered what the view would be from the River Wye, then this video is for you. It’s a gentle journey in Real Time from Tintern to Llandogo, starting with a misty morning and ending with a warm sunlit early autumn return to Tintern, an hour and 15 minutes later on one of the highest tides of the year. Enjoy the journey with the low tick-over sound of the Wye Invader Two engine, gentle river noise, the wildlife and some atmospheric music.
Fit My Video Tag