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Down the Tidal Trent ~~~ Why not do it the easier way ?


Tony Dunkley
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An appeal ~~ to anyone reading this thread who can help to find and post a photograph that boaters using the Trent really should see.

 

Some years ago a photographer called, I think, Chris Hawkesley, took a picture of a loaded barge, called 'Marnham', being hit by an aegre after grounding on Keadby low bar.

As far as I know the picture was published in books and magazines, but it is quite a few years ago, probably in the 1990's.

 

If anyone can find it, could they please post it on this thread, . . . . Thanks, Tony Dunkley.

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As a matter of fact, that photograph and the caption with it was sent to me by someone who is as concerned as I am that the irresponsible and potentially very dangerous tripe and so-called advice that you keep posting on this Forum may cause others to place themselves and their boats into the dangerous situations that, so far, you have been lucky enough to escape from unscathed. We are not alone in sharing this opinion, another Forum member, who had been subjected to a helping of your offensive and ill-informed claptrap earlier this year, expressed similar sentiments yesterday in the 'Charges for the Lock at Goole Docks' thread.

The account you've just given of the situation shown in the photograph, and how you got into it, is utter rubbish and an excellent example of how you encourage other inexperienced boaters to put themselves at risk.

You ran out of depth and water solely because your were around 150 yards out of the deepest part of the channel, and it had nothing to do with leaving Gainsborough a little late. The photograph was taken looking upriver towards Mere Dyke. Waddington Light is between the right hand one of the two nearest pylons to the right of the poplar trees and the house and the pylon just visible on the right hand edge of the picture, and Waterton Light would be around a quarter of a mile behind the camera. If you had been in, or close to, the deepwater channel at that time, you would have had 10'-12' under you at LW, and would have made Trent End and into the Ouse with no less than about 5' under you at any time.

The point that I'm making is that nobody should attempt the last few miles down from Keadby in a cruiser or narrowboat on big tides unless they know the river sufficiently well, or have good enough charts, that they know how to use, to be sure that they can make Trent End without grounding. Don't be under any illusions, on big Springs, come the flood, any vessel grounded on the outer end of a sandbank is in a potentially very dangerous situation.

If you want to continue to hazard yourselves and your boat, relying on nothing but good fortune to see you through, then that is your choice to make, but your encouraging of others to do the same through your dismissive unawareness of the risks, is both very stupid and highly irresponsible.

No it isn't.

 

Further pictures from both angles for your information. Again the boat is at anchor and has swung on the anchor to sit with the remaining flow.

 

575382_366638973388750_1827380087_n.jpg

 

548307_366638950055419_1595421587_n.jpg

 

We do not place ourselves or our boat in danger and neither do we rely on good fortune. On that occasion we didn't get it right and ran out of water, our error of judgement. However at no time were we or our boat in any danger and we took the correct action to avoid damage to the boat or danger to ourselves.

 

Again I don't follow your point here as I'm not encouraging others to do anything that we did on that day. As it happens when the tide did turn that day there was never any danger to either us or the vessel, the boat swung on her anchor to face the incoming tide and 20 minutes later we continued on our journey to Goole. It made bugger all difference that we had not made it to Trent End.

 

We transit the Trent on a regular basis and do so in a safe manner with as little risk as possible to our own vessel.

 

Perhaps you could clarify where you think we are being dismissive?

  • Greenie 1
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An appeal ~~ to anyone reading this thread who can help to find and post a photograph that boaters using the Trent really should see.

 

Some years ago a photographer called, I think, Chris Hawkesley, took a picture of a loaded barge, called 'Marnham', being hit by an aegre after grounding on Keadby low bar.

As far as I know the picture was published in books and magazines, but it is quite a few years ago, probably in the 1990's.

 

If anyone can find it, could they please post it on this thread, . . . . Thanks, Tony Dunkley.

 

Just stick 'Marnham Keadby' into Google. Its easy enough to find.

Edited by MJG
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Here you go Dunkley

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/41346965@N05/3843446084/in/photostream/

 

Still not sure of the relevance as there was no aegir the day we anchored up rolleyes.gif


And here it is at Gainsborough.

 

The boat that was towed back up to Newark by the tug had to endure two days of this whilst waiting for their tow.

 

Now doubt Dunkley will say that was bad planning on their behalf as well.

 

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And here (with acknowledgements to Naughty Cal) is a photo that shows said teapots. I assume that old outward pointing gate is no longer in use.

 

DSC_0873.jpg

 

Yes, I would think that as the new outer doors on the new chamber are power operated, rather than having to shut those manual gates by hand, they would use both chambers for penning down into the Fossdyke when the river level is above the canal, unless the top end flood gates have been taken out and the outer chamber is now used on it's own for that purpose.

 

Edit: I've just looked at the photo of the new bottom gates again, and the new outer doors have got balance beams, so maybe they're not mechanically operated. Does anybody know ?

Of course, the new, deeper outer doors, could be used in conjunction with the old set to pen boats down and in when the tide is above the height workable with the top end flood gates, but then the headroom under the road bridge and the boat's air draught would set the limit for the highest workable tide/river level.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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I thought it was a long way down to the Trent! How often is the Trent above the Fossdyke? Routinely, or just during exceptional floods?

We came in at just after high water yesterday. The tide had just turned when we on the approach to the lock cut.

 

They were big tides.

 

Not the highest we have used the lock at though. We have been through on free flow.

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Old post you have trawled up there Dunkley.

 

Our mistake that day was finding a nice pub in Gainsborough and spending longer than anticipated there, leaving a tad later on the tide then planned and running shy of water on the approach to Trent End just before Burton Stather, if the picture was a little further around to the left the blue crane would have been in sight.

 

The boat has swung around on the anchor in that picture, we decided to drop anchor when we got to 1ft below the hull as it was clear we wouldn't get to Trent End and that nothing else would be coming up river with no/little water in the channel. With the leg raised the boat stayed afloat, just, for the duration. The incoming tide simply swung the boat around on the anchor and when there was sufficient water we carried on our way into Goole no harm done.

 

Not sure what point you are trying to make digging up that post as no harm was done and we carried on on our way a couple of hours later!

 

Not a bad day at all

 

As a matter of fact, that photograph and the caption with it was sent to me by someone who is as concerned as I am that the irresponsible and potentially very dangerous so-called advice and opinions that you keep posting on this Forum may cause others to place themselves and their boats into the dangerous situations that, so far, you have been lucky enough to escape from unscathed. We are not alone in sharing this opinion, another Forum member, who had been subjected to a helping of your offensive and ill-informed opinions earlier this year, expressed similar sentiments yesterday in the 'Charges for the Lock at Goole Docks' thread.

The account you've just given of the situation shown in the photograph, and how you got into it, is nothing but fanciful nonsense, and an excellent example of how you appear to delight in posting material likely to encourage other inexperienced boaters to put themselves at risk too.

You ran out of depth and water solely because your were around 150 yards out of the deepest part of the channel, and it had nothing to do with leaving Gainsborough a little late. The photograph was taken looking upriver towards Mere Dyke. Waddington Light is between the right hand one of the two nearest pylons to the right of the poplar trees and the house and the pylon just visible on the right hand edge of the picture, and Waterton Light would be around a quarter of a mile behind the camera. If you had been in, or close to, the deepwater channel at that time, you would have had 10'-12' under you at LW, and would have made Trent End and into the Ouse with no less than about 5' under you at any time.

The point that I'm making is that nobody should attempt the last few miles down from Keadby in a cruiser or narrowboat on big tides unless they know the river sufficiently well, or have good enough charts, that they know how to use, to be sure that they can make Trent End without grounding. Don't be under any illusions, on big Springs, come the flood, any vessel grounded on the outer end of a sandbank is in a potentially very dangerous situation.

If you want to continue to hazard yourselves and your boat, relying on nothing but good fortune to see you through, then that is your choice to make, but your encouraging of others to do the same through your unwillingness to recognize and acknowledge the mistakes you've made and your dismissive attitude to the risks you've taken, is, on your part, both highly irresponsible and contemptuous of others safety.

________________________________________________________

This post is reappearing out of sequence as it has been edited for 'rudeness' at the request of DeanS, before re-posting.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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Yes, I would think that as the new outer doors on the new chamber are power operated, rather than having to shut those manual gates by hand, they would use both chambers for penning down into the Fossdyke when the river level is above the canal, unless the top end flood gates have been taken out and the outer chamber is now used on it's own for that purpose.

 

Edit: I've just looked at the photo of the new bottom gates again, and the new outer doors have got balance beams, so maybe they're not mechanically operated. Does anybody know ?

Of course, the new, deeper outer doors, could be used in conjunction with the old set to pen boats down and in when the tide is above the height workable with the top end flood gates, but then the headroom under the road bridge and the boat's air draught would set the limit for the highest workable tide/river level.

 

Yes, you are right the outer flood doors are hand operated - even with those large balance beams, that must be quite a task! (ETA - they may be winch assisted?)

 

As these photos show there are three sets of outward facing gates, with the tops getting successively higher nearer the Trent. I can't see any point in using the short lock formed from the middle and outer gates, as 1) this would disturb the teapots 2) as you say, there would probably not be enough headroom under the bridge.

 

So that means one could only lock up to the Trent if it was up to say three feet higher than the Fossdyke - above that the lock is not useable (as well as there being a current of X knots on the Trent which would suggest staying in the pub is the right thing to do...)

 

post-13477-0-92826600-1441224061_thumb.jpg post-13477-0-34907400-1441224098_thumb.jpg

post-13477-0-22550200-1441224266_thumb.jpg post-13477-0-74739600-1441224353_thumb.jpg

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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If the Trent is higher than the Fossdyke they won't lock you up onto the Trent.

 

If it's inches they can crack the bottom gates and fill the lock but they don't make a habit of it.

 

As you say if the river is that high the pub is an attractive proposition for most boaters.

 

Thanks - looking again at those photos I can't see any paddles/sluices in or near those outer gates, which would explain why they cannot any longer lock people up into the Trent!

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Yes, you are right the outer flood doors are hand operated - even with those large balance beams, that must be quite a task! (ETA - they may be winch assisted?)

 

As these photos show there are three sets of outward facing gates, with the tops getting successively higher nearer the Trent. I can't see any point in using the short lock formed from the middle and outer gates, as 1) this would disturb the teapots 2) as you say, there would probably not be enough headroom under the bridge.

 

So that means one could only lock up to the Trent if it was up to say three feet higher than the Fossdyke - above that the lock is not useable (as well as there being a current of X knots on the Trent which would suggest staying in the pub is the right thing to do...)

 

attachicon.gifDSCF5710.JPG attachicon.gifDSCF5712.JPG

attachicon.gifDSCF5719.JPG attachicon.gifDSCF5714.JPG

 

In the days of commercial traffic to Lincoln (finished in the early 70's) the lock was operated until the river level was high enough to start lapping over the lockside copings with the top end flood gates shut and the outer doors open. This was only occasionally necessary when big tides coincided with long wet spells, usually in Winter or early Spring. The current in the river wasn't really much different then from what you have with 3' or 4' less on because the water starts spreading out into the fields.

The limiting factor that stopped barges from running when river levels were very high was the same one that continued to occasionally bring commercial traffic to a halt up until the Spring of 2013, and that was the headroom under Torksey Railway Bridge, being lower than either Gainsborough Railway or road Bridge. With that much fresh in the river there is virtually no change in level between low and high water except for a small 'backing up' effect.

The lock looks very different in your pictures from how it did back then. The lock keeper was one Herbert Cutler, an ex. Furleys boatman who had long family connections to the Trent and Fossdyke through the Hull and Lincoln trade. The lock and it's surroundings were kept very spick and span and Herbert kept the gates and lockgear painted in the old Fossdyke Navigation colours of green and cream. As and when he deemed it necessary he would permit, or instruct, British Waterways to carry out repair and maintenance work to his requirements and satisfaction, and would only spend any time away from the lock provided BW would arrange for his brother George to act as relief keeper in his absence. I had a great deal of time and respect for Herbert.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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Many thanks Tony - fascinating stuff. Is it Herbert in these photos - taken on the occasion of my last visit in 1990 - I guess not given the colours.

 

[sorry for the poor quality - I must find a better way to get 35mm transparencies into digital!]

 

post-13477-0-97967100-1441304175_thumb.jpg post-13477-0-24488000-1441304191_thumb.jpg

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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Many thanks Tony - fascinating stuff. Is it Herbert in these photos - taken on the occasion of my last visit in 1990 - I guess not given the colours.

 

[sorry for the poor quality - I must find a better way to get 35mm transparencies into digital!]

 

attachicon.gifDSCF6441.JPG attachicon.gifDSCF6442.JPG

 

No, Herbert had long since retired by then . . . . all that black and white would never have been allowed. He wasn't far away though, having bought a house to retire to in Newton on Trent, a mile or so from Dunham Bridge, and a small boat which he told me he kept on the Fossdyke near to the lock. The last time I saw him he was in his late 80's and thinking about selling the boat because he was beginning to find the bike ride, down to Torksey and back, was getting a bit too much for him.

That white painted footbridge in your picture is a new addition. In Herbert's day we used to walk across the bottom gates because it was quicker and easier than going up the steps and across the road bridge. There is just one remaining echo of Herbert in that picture, and that's the length of rope you can see lapped round the balance beam of the outer doors. It was just long enough to use for pulling them to from standing on the bottom of the concrete steps at the side of them. Leaning back, and so pulling slightly downwards with your feet against the side of the high wall made it easier to get the doors moving than tottering about on the top edge of the high wall pulling directly on the beam

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No it isn't.

 

Further pictures from both angles for your information. Again the boat is at anchor and has swung on the anchor to sit with the remaining flow.

 

575382_366638973388750_1827380087_n.jpg

 

548307_366638950055419_1595421587_n.jpg

 

We do not place ourselves or our boat in danger and neither do we rely on good fortune. On that occasion we didn't get it right and ran out of water, our error of judgement. However at no time were we or our boat in any danger and we took the correct action to avoid damage to the boat or danger to ourselves.

 

Again I don't follow your point here as I'm not encouraging others to do anything that we did on that day. As it happens when the tide did turn that day there was never any danger to either us or the vessel, the boat swung on her anchor to face the incoming tide and 20 minutes later we continued on our journey to Goole. It made bugger all difference that we had not made it to Trent End.

 

We transit the Trent on a regular basis and do so in a safe manner with as little risk as possible to our own vessel.

 

Perhaps you could clarify where you think we are being dismissive?

 

As you're persisting in your mistaken belief that you didn't get any further downriver and into the Ouse simply because you were too late on the ebb, I'll make yet another attempt to explain.

The top picture is looking downriver towards Burton Stather Wharf with Waterton Light visible to the left of the picture. The lower picture is looking upriver at the house and poplar trees at Mere Dyke with the drying ness in the foreground . . . . precisely the same view, but in close-up, as the photo I included in Post #43. This puts the boat that the pictures were taken from between Waddington Light and Waterton Light on a line from Waddington Light to Burton Stather Wharf, and therefore some 150 yards away from the deep channel which is no more than 20 to 25 yards out from the stones along the Western bank between the two lights, until about 200 yards topside of Waterton Light from where it then cuts across a bit more than threequarters the width of the river to Solitary House Light, which is just off the right hand side of the picture showing the crane at Burton Stather.

Some 150 yards North West of where you grounded/anchored there would still have been 10' - 12' at Low Water and a least depth at Low Water of around 4'- 5' in the channel as far as Flats Light, increasing a little until you have South Trent and Trent Ness Lights roughly abeam, and from there on increasing rapidly, at Low Water to 20'+ and then 30'+ from North Trent to Apex Lights.

No matter how late you were leaving Gainsborough, if you had kept to the deep channel from Keadby to Trent End you would not have grounded or had to stop between Mere Dyke and Burton Stather, and could have waited for the flood in the Ouse with 10' to 20' of water under you near Boundary Light.

The enforced stop was due entirely to the fact that you were so far out of the deep water channel, and not an error of timing, as you have convinced yourself was the cause. You were able to continue on your way after the tide turned without any frights or mishaps solely because they weren't exceptionally big tides at the time (9.2m on the Fish Dock Sill - 8.0m above CD at Hull) and only just at the very bottom of the range above which small aegres can begin to form further upriver. Also in your favour was the fact that you floated off and swung round as the tide turned, well before it started flowing at any significant rate. Had you been perched toward the outer, or downriver, side of that bared out ness behind you in the second photograph, and floated off after the tide had picked up some speed, you wouldn't have enjoyed it all quite so much.

Whether the situation arose because you don't know the river sufficiently well to navigate without charts, or the charts you had were no good, or it came about because you mis-read whatever charts you had, is no concern of mine and is irrelevant in any event.

What does matter is that if you wish to help others to prepare better and avoid making the same mistakes, you should recognize and accept that it wasn't yourselves, or your preparation and equipment that kept you and your boat out of trouble that day, it was good fortune and the Gods of the river and tides.

Rather than portraying it to others on this Forum as an inconsequential non event, you would be doing other inexperienced boaters who may be tempted by the last few miles of the Trent, a really good turn by recognizing it for what it was, . . . . a lucky escape from a situation that could have ended very differently if, for example, the tide had been well above predicated height.

It cannot be emphasized too much, that no cruiser or narrowboat should attempt the lower Trent on anything but neap tides unless they're 100% sure that they won't ground anywhere.

Nobody, however experienced, prepared or well equipped they are should ever be foolish enough to think they can cope with whatever the Trent, Ouse or Humber may unexpectedly throw at them. All three of these rivers have on occasion caught out, or even killed, professional bargemen and seamen who've spent their working lives on them.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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The write up from that trip to Leeds is here:

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=46195

 

As we are still alive and veru much enjoying our boating and our boat is still very much alive and Kicking and in one piece, I'm still not sure what point Dippy Dunkley is trying to make.

 

ETA: Some pictures of our more recent trips down the Trent and Humber. All very enjoyable and passing without incident. No doubt Dunks will find something amiss in the following pictures.

 

DSCF5014.jpg

 

DSCF4566-Copy.jpg

 

DSCF4554-Copy.jpg

 

DSCF4553-Copy.jpg

 

Perhaps Dunks is missing his trips down the Trent, which is why he feels the need to pick holes in everyone elses?

Edited by Naughty Cal
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As I don't know the Trent at all, I had to look up this bit of water and found the chart above.

 

http://81.19.55.87/abppublisheddocuments/Burton%20Stather%20to%20Keadby%20Annual%202015%20-%20Surveyed%209th%20April%20to%2017th%20June%202015.pdf

Yes. ABP survey the area on a regular basis and publish the latest charts on the relevant section of their website.

 

ETA: Link to chart viewer page below:

 

http://www.humber.com/Estuary_Information/Navigating_the_Estuary/Chart_Viewer/

Edited by Naughty Cal
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As I don't know the Trent at all, I had to look up this bit of water and found the chart above.

 

http://81.19.55.87/abppublisheddocuments/Burton%20Stather%20to%20Keadby%20Annual%202015%20-%20Surveyed%209th%20April%20to%2017th%20June%202015.pdf

 

ABP publish charts like that covering the rest of the Trent to Apex Light, the Ouse to Hook railway bridge and all of the Humber.

In the hands of someone who knows how to read and use them they're very good and it's possible for anyone who doesn't know the river to find the deepest water steering by the lights and other marks or features on the shore. The old paper charts of the area that I've got from the early 1980's were a much bigger scale than the one you've linked to, the soundings on that are barely big enough to read. Perhaps that's why some people in small cruisers drawing 3 feet can manage to ground in a stretch of river where there's nearly enough depth to float a coaster at Low water.

There are one or two places between Keadby and Trent End where the channel moves about a bit but most of it's fairly stable and doesn't really change at all. The part I was describing in Post #70 between Mere Dyke and Burton Stather jetty hasn't changed significantly for donkey's years.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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