Category Archives: History

Following The Trees. Breach Part 9. New Year 2021

Icy in Goole

New Years Eve and news from the marina, via Al and Lisa, was that water levels were good, maybe up a bit, but it was most definitely icy out there. It was good to hear that the bigger flow from the temporary fix at the breach site didn’t seem to be affecting the levels in Goole.

Mark Penn put up some frosty photos of the breach site. Water still coming through the temporary fix, but appearing to be flowing the right way. It’s a good job the Aire and Calder’s water is supplied from the river rather than a reservoir.

Mark also took his drone up to Pollington, taking photos of the north bank of the canal where we’d noticed the pilling relaxing into the canal. From his photos you can see there is another layer of pilling further back, more curved than that by the waters edge.

The post on facebook led to various comments regarding an old railway bridge across the canal at this point. This was a Bascule bridge, one of two high level moving bridges on the canal, the other was a swing bridge below Knostrop Lock. An act of parliament was drawn up saying that anything that crossed the Aire and Calder had to be either moveable or high enough for sea going ships to get under, intending the canal to be like the Manchester Ship Canal but this fell by the wayside. Thank you Alf Huckitt for this info.

The bridge

Then Phil Pritchard provided a photo of the bridge, built by John Butler Ltd of Stanningly, Leeds in 1884 to carry the Hull and Barnsley Railway over the canal. The mechanism to lift it was never fitted as it wasn’t required for the vessels that were using the canal. It was demolished in 1974.

The line just to the East of Pollington in 1947

Mick looked for evidence on maps of the route the railway had taken. Quite often tell tail signs of embankments and lines of trees give away an old route.

There’s the line of trees crossing the canal

Looking at old maps and then comparing them to Google satellite view we could trace out the route, joining the lines of trees and pale lines in fields.

Route just traceable
My wiggly line shows the route of the line through Gowdall to Drax.

An interesting bit of detective work to keep us busy.

Happy New Year

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 more day away from the boat, 1 new year, 3 of us in the house.