River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

North of the Trent drainage, flowing to the North Sea
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Mark R
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River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

Post by Mark R »

Last edited by Mark R on Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mark Rainsley
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Re: RIVER CALDER (Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brigho

Post by lesf »

A couple of things following last weeks floods.
  • In the first pool on the course with slalom gates on 3 of the wires are down. I have recovered two of these to the left bank where they are coiled up out of the way and well above the current water level - if we have another flood they could go back in the river, but would be along the river left bank pretty well out of the way. There was no sign of the third wire - I suspect it headed off down river with whatever debris removed it, but there's a chance it could still be in the water, so be aware.
  • Rocks may have moved in the third drop - it was still a bit high to tell for certain, but it seemed a bit different.
  • Downstream of the get of there is quite a bit of tree debris to be aware of.
  • Also downstream of the get off one of the old bridges between the works has collapsed into the river. This is about 250-300m below the club get off steps and before you get to the access to the canal basin. There's a lot of metal work in the river along with the tree debris it collected. At a level today's level (and you wouldn't want to head down to the next weir with much more water) it looked like there was a route through, but I didn't get too close. This will be a potential hazard to anyone out of their boat beyond the club steps - I'll be reporting it to the Environment Agency as the next flood could break it up into a right mess or send the whole lot off down the river!
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Re: RIVER CALDER (Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse)

Post by lesf »

You may be aware that Puzzle Weir upstream of Halifax Canoe Club's site (also know as Hollins Mill Weir) started to collapse a few years ago. Recent floods have furthered the collapse of the face of the weir making it seriously dangerous at the moment.

To be clear, heading upstream from Halifax Canoe Club this is the first weir you come to. If you are paddling downstream towards the club, this is the weir after the ‘double weir’ and it is recognised as you approach it by the weir extending out from the right bank as the river makes a 90 degree bend to the right over the weir.

Approaching from upstream the weir looks doable from above but definitely not when inspected from below.
All of flow (at low to medium levels) is going in to the collapsed section with the remaining face dry and unrunnable. In the collapsed section there are lots of metal spikes of sticking out which would be pretty lethal, and debris piled up at the foot of the weir – see photo’s below. Do not consider paddling down the collapsed section!
Please approach with caution and egress on to the right bank above the weir to inspect and portage.
No doubt the weir will continue to collapse in the coming months making it more dangerous.

Full details, map and pictures: http://www.halifaxcanoe.org.uk/warning- ... ir-hazard/
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Re: River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

Post by stuartcm83 »

Anybody know the recomended egress and parking in Brighouse?
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Re: River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

Post by GregS »

stuartcm83 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:55 am
Anybody know the recommended egress and parking in Brighouse?
Hmmm - I should probably have added the points to Google Maps back in the day when we routinely used them!

The easy option is to switch to the canal at Brockfoot: https://goo.gl/maps/N2NYRtpwmRa4FKfBA - or to park and finish at Brockfoot. If you follow the canal from there, the next easy spot is Brighouse Basin: https://www.watersidemooring.com/329-brighouse-basin-l1

If you follow the river instead of the canal, you're committed to at least two weirs. One is just below Brockfoot, the next is at the RokT Climbing Gym (where steps allow egress if the gym is open) and the third is opposite the railway station.

This video shows both...

We'd love to gather ongoing evidence of people using Snake Hill, opposite the railway station, as we fought a court case to retail access. Beware: the bank is likely to be overgrown! This is the point: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news ... -brighouse

Others have got on and off further down, at Brighouse Marina (mentioned above) or at Huntingdon Rd footbridge: https://goo.gl/maps/S9tBHf1SgEtFJC7T6

Alternatively, re-jig your trip to finish at Battyeford! http://www.penninecrc.org/?page_id=2492
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Re: River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

Post by faxmackem »

I would suggest using Brookfoot - although I am not sure about parking midweek - I have parked there on a weekend with no issue.

You can swap to the canal, however there is one lock between there and the centre of Brighouse and from walking the tow path getting an open boat around it could be entertaining!

Of the other weirs, the one nearest Brookfoot can be portaged via fields, the one by Rokt cannot at most levels it's probably just a scrape and no issue.

You can also get out from the river at the Marina......I have never used the access at Snake Hill.

Hope that all helps, and isn't to late :-)

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Re: River Calder - Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse

Post by lesf »

Access and Paddling at Sowerby Bridge
We have been contacted by a resident whose car was scratched by a boat last week and are aware of another near miss today.
To ensure Halifax CC can maintain good relations with our neighbours we want to remind everyone (groups and individuals) who comes to paddle at Sowerby Bridge to please take care when carrying boats and paddles through to the riverside and back, particularly:
• Leave plenty of room between you and any vehicles when carrying equipment.
• Remember there as much of the boat behind you as in front.
• Be aware of the angle you carry your boat at and allow extra space.
• Non-paddlers impression of how close you are may be different to yours, so leave extra space.
• If you need assistance carrying your boat and paddle, ask for help rather than struggling.
• Juniors should supervised or assisted by their parent or a coach/helper.
• Ideally go and prop the gate to the get on open before carrying your boat down from the club (please make sure the gate it closed when you leave too).
• Be extra vigilant in windy conditions.
If you ever do happen to scratch a car around the mill area please let the club know about it so we can respond quickly to resolve the issue.
Good practice would be to leave a note on the vehicle with your details. This is the kind of thing that liability insurance through British Canoeing membership could cover you for.
Halifax CC Committee
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