GUIDE TO THE RIVER CALDER
(Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course to Brighouse)
NAME OF RIVER: River Calder (Halifax Canoe Club, HXCC), Whitewater Course.
WHERE IS IT? Near Halifax, West Yorkshire. OS sheet 104 Leeds/ Bradford.
Take out Brighouse, river left below 2nd weir.
APPROX LENGTH: 10 km.
TIME NEEDED: 4 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Access situation good, rarely paddled.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Gauge at Elland. 2 is ok, 4 is good.
GRADING: Grade 2 with weirs.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Mear Clough weir (closed ends), Power station weir (steep, closed ends), other weirs.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Put in Sowerby bridge white water course - Halifax Canoe Club.
069237 1 km to Mear Clough weir - closed ended canoe gobbler in high water - be warned.
077232 1 km to Wire Works weir - metal spikes.
082226 1 km Copley viaduct and broken weir, good put in and parking here.
096223 1 km railway and footbridge, tree stuck here Dec 2002, Hebble brook confluence on the left.
097220 300 m to road bridge. Tail squirt pool river rt.
100214 1 km confluence of Black Brook on rt.
106213 1 km to Elland weirs - mainly playable weirs with easy waves.
125219 1.5 km Power station weir portage rt.
138229 1.5 km Lillands weir shoot rt.
144226 0.5 km Brighouse upper weir.
147226 200 m Brighouse lower weir.
CONTRIBUTED BY:Andy Craven and Paul (Heffy) Heffernan.
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: