The Old Arm runs northwards from the junction and was the original connection to the River Severn. Ships entering the basin passed along the canal to Gloucester for cargo-handling as no facilities existed at Sharpness. The old lock has now been converted to a sluice. The old dock-master's house is now used by the Severn Area Rescue Association (Sharpness is one of four rescue centres run by volunteers and tasked by emergency services). The old lifeboat station on the other side of the basin (off-picture, left) is also used by them. The remainder of the Arm is a marina.
The other arm at the junction passes southwards into the 'new' docks , built in the 1870s to accommodate the larger ships which could not transit to Gloucester. Warehouses and cargo-handling facilities catered for the cargo, which was then mostly imported grain.
This photo, taken from the High Level Bridge (originally a railway bridge serving the dock area, now used for road traffic), looks out across the Severn Estuary upstream of the docks. "Paws" can be seen moored just past the junction.