Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Lost shipyards, villages and canals

Sunday had been a day of visitors and then an evening concert with me singing. It went pretty well with a very full venue, St. Augustine's church in Hedon. We had to be up early to leave the Beverley Beck and head north up the River Hull.

We were following the @Sun', the trip boat for the Beverley Barge Preservation Society's trip boat. It was built at Goole for British Waterways as a maintenance vessel on the broad canals. She is 53' long and as she has windows she is well suited for travelling up the River Hull towards the Driffield Navigation. Here the 'Sun' is in the lock ready to start penning down. As you can see there is no room to land anywhere to put somebody ashore.

For our journey today we had two guests, John and Chris and John gets involved straightaway with holding the centre line as we pen down to the river. The weather was lovely but the wind was a little cool when the sun went in.

The sun penned out and I noticed they had gone head down to the Humber and then used the incoming tide to swing the boat round to head up river. The river was still flooding as we were leaving just about 0900 and HW was supposed to be after 1000.

Just up from the lock were several boats moored, and several sunk. Recently RCR have been contracted to remove the wrecks from the River Hull and have lifted two already. The locals were a little scornful as they were only 20' long and they haven't attempted any of the larger ones, such as this steel hulled barge, and a wooden one a little further down river.

The main reason for us accompanying the 'Sun' was to utilise the same lifting of the bridge at Weel. The single file bridge is lifted by the East Riding Council and so we didn't want to call them out twice. As you can see there are plenty of boats.moored here and just past the bridge are plenty of steel boats. It was up river of the bridge that the shipyard of Cook, Welton and Gemmell built mainly trawlers and tugs on the banks of the Hull, where they were launched sideways. They were then towed down to Hull and Princes Dock to be fitted out. Cook Welton and Gemmell's started in 1883 on the Bank of the Humber but moved to Beverley in 1902. The yard changed hands after 1963 onwards a few times and finally closed in 1977.

Once clear of the shipyard the scenery become much more open and rural. On the left bank is the open access land of Swinemoor. The water gently meanders through the landscape and as the tide is high the views are nice and long.

The next moorings are next to the Crown and Anchor pub at Hull Bridge. Although fixed there is still plenty of room for us and the 'Sun'. Just after the old bridge is the new bypass bridge.

The River Hull continues to wander around the flood plain and through the reeds. The birds were very noisy as we passed the reeds and the sun was very pleasant as we continued at a speed just above tick over so as not to get right up the tail of the 'Sun, seen here across a bend. Just here was the medieval village of Eske. There are mounds and crop marks still here. It was founded in around 1087 and grew for a while but by 1457 it started to reduce, being abandoned in 1700's. There are over 2000 lost villages in England.

The flood plain of the River Hull is extensive and drains a large area. In the distance can be seen the chalk uplands of the Yorkshire Wolds. It is the same formation as the Lincolnshire Wolds and was only separated when the Humber estuary was formed following the last ice age when the massive melt water lake that was trapped to the west of the chalk finally broke through. The Humber Bridge spans the spot now. You can see that the tide is high as this was a spring tide

The ings, or pasture land that flooded in the past is mainly given over to grazing in this area and these cattle seemed to be wandering with a bull  enjoying the weather. The farmsteads were quite away from the river and there were no roads close as it will have been only relatively recently that the river has been contained. 
This is the route into a flood relief lake. I thought it might be the entrance to the Leven canal, but I missed it when we past in later. The Leven Canal was built for Mrs. Charlotta Bethell by William Jessop. It opened in 1805 and connected the village of Leven to the River Hull and hence to the rest of Yorkshire. Mrs. Bethell's family lived at nearby Rise Hall that is now home to Sara Beeny from the TV. The canal ran from a basin by the village, where two warehouse were built, one of which still exists as a private home, in an almost straight line to the River Hull where there was a lock after about three quarters of a mile.. The lock originally had three sets of gates, two as a normal lock and the third to act as a flood lock when the level of the canal was above that of the river. Later a further gate was added for when the river was higher than the canal. It carried wheat away from the village and brought coal, lime and construction material. It was busy until the 1930's when the Humber keel trade declined and was closed in 1935. The waterway is now a SSSI as it supports more biodiversity than any other similar environment at 42. In 2004 the High Court prevented development of the waterway to protect this site.

The nice thing about our part of the world are the big skies. We may not have mountains etc but you have a feeling of space and openness that gives you long views. With the nice fluffy clouds in a blue sky it really lifts the mood.

We continued ever northwards through the bird filled reeds, keeping the 'Sun' in sight but not getting too close. We were nearly half way to our destination so there is enough for another a blog, next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment