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Cheese

Wey Navigation at Guildford

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Without the hole in the bank being fixed boats can't navigate the whole stretch from Millmead to St Catherine's. Doubt the rowing club can do anything either so will be lots of pressure to get it fixed. The towpath there is very popular too.

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5 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

I know there are sluices near there but looking at the video I'm not convinced that was one of them - the ones I remember have big structures operated from the footbridge

Which have actuators and telemetry on them.

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5 hours ago, Cheese said:

What happens if the council decide they are not bothered about replacing it,

From my time living in that area, I recall Guildford Borough Council to be quite savvy in regards to the importance of leisure to the area (they never sold off their very lucrative leisure complex, as they appreciated the long term worth to the coffers), so I expect they will act quickly...

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Updates to the status of this stoppage are here. They are not on the standard National Trust website because that website wasn't, at the time, considered suitable to take regular operational updates so the Wordpress site was started.

 

The latest update is from 05-Nov as follows:

 

Navigation remains closed between Millmead and St. Catherine’s Locks while the National Trust and Guildford Borough Council continue to work together to restore the water levels.  The towpath is closed between Millmead Lock and upstream side of weir.  A short signed diversion via the footpath along A281 is in place.

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Was passing Guildford, so stopped to see what is happening.  Unfortunately didn't have a a camera with me.

 

There is a team from River & Canal Services on site, with a large crane in the adjacent offside car park lifting in ton bags of stones.  I think the original plan was to create a coffer dam in the river to isolate the collapse and create a dry worksite, but apparently the flow was too strong.  They now appear to have wedged the former footbridge across the gap,and are placing the bags against the bridge directly in the gap, so they are held there by the force of the water.  Once the dam is in place and sealed the navigation can be rewatered, so avoiding any problems from clay drying out or banks collapsing.  (There are two other weirs / sluices between the collapse and the lock to take the flow, and if necessary they could partially open the lock sluices).

 

Once rewatered then at some later stage (currently indeterminate) they can get a barge in adjacent to the collapse, to start putting in steel pilings for a new weir, and reinstate the towpath.

 

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2 minutes ago, Cheese said:

Was passing Guildford, so stopped to see what is happening.  Unfortunately didn't have a a camera with me.

 

There is a team from River & Canal Services on site, with a large crane in the adjacent offside car park lifting in ton bags of stones.  I think the original plan was to create a coffer dam in the river to isolate the collapse and create a dry worksite, but apparently the flow was too strong.  They now appear to have wedged the former footbridge across the gap,and are placing the bags against the bridge directly in the gap, so they are held there by the force of the water.  Once the dam is in place and sealed the navigation can be rewatered, so avoiding any problems from clay drying out or banks collapsing.  (There are two other weirs / sluices between the collapse and the lock to take the flow, and if necessary they could partially open the lock sluices).

 

Once rewatered then at some later stage (currently indeterminate) they can get a barge in adjacent to the collapse, to start putting in steel pilings for a new weir, and reinstate the towpath.

 

That's all good news.  River & Canal Services is a friend of mine, Rob Locatelli. I have no doubt at all he will do an excellent job. I am impressed with the speed of getting it done.

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Thank you, all very interesting.

Some links with a fascinating talk I went to last night by John Pomfret about the Chelmer and Blackwater. Lots of debate with a wide variety of parties about who a) owns and b) maintains c) would be affected by the failure of a variety of sluices, culverts, flood gates and so on.  Not straightforward! 

 

I also asked when a narrowboat had last visited by water - he thought not since 2001  http://www.tuesdaynightclub.co.uk/Tour_01/Medplus8.html

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3 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Thank you, all very interesting.

Some links with a fascinating talk I went to last night by John Pomfret about the Chelmer and Blackwater. Lots of debate with a wide variety of parties about who a) owns and b) maintains c) would be affected by the failure of a variety of sluices, culverts, flood gates and so on.  Not straightforward! 

 

I also asked when a narrowboat had last visited by water - he thought not since 2001  http://www.tuesdaynightclub.co.uk/Tour_01/Medplus8.html

We were eying up drilling and installing some pipes under that canal last year. In the end a cheaper solution found. Would have compensated the owners for the easement.

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4 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Thank you, all very interesting.

Some links with a fascinating talk I went to last night by John Pomfret about the Chelmer and Blackwater. Lots of debate with a wide variety of parties about who a) owns and b) maintains c) would be affected by the failure of a variety of sluices, culverts, flood gates and so on.  Not straightforward! 

 

I also asked when a narrowboat had last visited by water - he thought not since 2001  http://www.tuesdaynightclub.co.uk/Tour_01/Medplus8.html

Is this your next years project?

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34 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Is this your next years project?

Not for 2020 - something else is being planned.  It was quite tempting when we came back from the Medway in 2016 - somewhere off in the distance behind the NORE SWATCH buoy.
 

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My last report might have been too optimistic.   No-one now working.   There appear to be only a few bags in place, on the upstream side of the breach, which at best might be trying to minimise any further erosion of the bank from the significant amount of water still flowing through.  Could be a while before it is reinstated.  ?

 

.

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Update.  They put a coffer dam in by the rowing club, apparently about a week ago, to divert the river down the small sluice on the west side of the island, and minimise the flow through the weir breach.   Made from scaffolding poles and a waterproof membrane.   But the recent rain / strong flow has breached the coffer dam, so that is now only partially in place, and things are back to square one.  Very strong flow through the original weir breach, and the lock and mill stream remain dry.

 

They are cutting back some of the offside vegetation opposite the weir breach, adjacent to the car park.  Possibly to facilitate access at some point.

 

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Further update.  No obvious progress.  Remains of coffer dam removed.  It rather looks as though, while the dam was in place but breached on one side, the swirling water has led to a partial bank collapse over a short stretch, which will now need piling.  Could be some time before Godalming is accessible.  🙁

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Oh dear. I feel sorry for the boat yard at Farncombe and those moored in Godalming :(

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The NT's latest notices at https://riverweyconditionsnt.wordpress.com/ look confusing; they seem to refer to this breach in places but also say much of the river was closed recently due to flooding. The latest dated 4th Feb says:

04.02.20 RIVER CONDIONS – NORMAL

09.20hrs – The Navigation is now fully open from Godalming Wharf to Thames Lock.

Navigation remains closed between St. Catherine’s Lock and Millmead Lock whilst work continues to restore the water levels.

 

I guess they'll fix things up over the coming months in time for people to go boating this year?

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"... whilst work continues..." might be stretching it a bit.  Perhaps they are preparing something offsite, but on the ground nothing appears to be happening!

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On 09/02/2020 at 09:13, Cheese said:

"... whilst work continues..." might be stretching it a bit.  Perhaps they are preparing something offsite, but on the ground nothing appears to be happening!

On the ground today something happened sort of: a friend of mine walked that bit.

My man on the spot reports that the pound from St Katherine's lock down to Millmead lock is indeed down 2-3 feet from its proper level.

 

So I suppose the river could have been open its whole length for navigation on 4th Feb (and the NT say it is now) if you had a shallow enough vessel? A punt?

I find it credible that the NT may well be preparing something offsite. For now, great chunks of the river are in flood again, enough to be dangerous.

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Some progress now being made.  This link indicates that navigation should be theoretically possible by the end of the month - even though with the c0ronavirus restrictions it is still closed.  The towpath and the weir itself may take a further two years to reinstate.

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Thanks for sharing this. Although I doubt I'll be boating the Wey again for a while I used to walk there every week when I lived in Guildford. Nice to have some good news :)

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Fully reopened for boats yesterday. :clapping:

 

(There might still be a gap in the towpath - but it is not too much of a detour to get around)

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