In 1793 the City approved a massive scheme to dig The New Cut, including the Cumberland and Bathurst Basins, Feeder Canal and Netham Dam, thus creating the Floating Harbour.
After lunch they visited the Robey Trust site at New Perseverance Ironworks, Tavistock.
Of Bristols rivers, the Frome has the largest catchment; some 160 sq km.
It rises at the foot of the Cotswolds and flows for 30 km before meeting the Avon.
Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, insisted that the navy had its own supply of cordite, and Holton Heath on Poole Harbour was chosen as the site for a new factory. Biochemist Chaim Weizmann had developed a process to make acetone through bacterial fermentation, although a national collection of horse-chestnuts was required when supplies of available grain became inadequate for the quantity of starch needed for fermentation.
At the end of the war, remaining stocks of cordite were used by the Ford Motor Company to make artificial leather for car interiors.
The Robey Trust is a museum and restoration centre dedicated to the preservation of Robey machinery including traction engines, rollers, stationary engines, pumps and other items.