We’re all going to the Zoo tomorrow!

As unlikely as it might seem today, there are stories of workers from the paper mills in the Whitebrook valley going by Llandogo trow on an outing to Bristol Zoo. Trows were often used for pleasure trips and were the favourite means of transport for many local church, choir and Sunday school outings, as the Monmouthshire Beacon reported in 1895: ‘On Friday, August 17th, in connection with the Whitebrook Baptist Sunday School, the barge Mary Jane (kindly lent for the occasion by Mr William Pick) sailed for Beachley. Leaving the shore at Mr George Hodges’ yard, Llandogo at 8 am with about 150 on board, the order came to let go the ropes and the excursionists were soon gliding over the waters of the beautiful River Wye. The Whitelye Brass Band, who gave kindly their services for the day, commenced playing ‘We are out on the ocean sailing’.  Trows were still being used in the early 20th for pleasure trips, as this photograph from Roger Brown of Llandogo so beautifully records. A large trow looms over members of the Whitebrook and District Choir, all dressed in their Sunday best for an outing in 1913.

wye valley history

Whitebrook and District Choir outing by trow, 1913. Image courtesy of Roger Brown

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