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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

GELDESTON TO BUNGAY.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi all, i`ve just followed the river Waveney on google sattelite view from Geldeston Lock to what looks like the site of the old Bungay lock. This stretch of river still looks wide enough to cruise, though the depth of water is probably far too shallow. But looking at the sattelite view, the Waveney still has good width along this stretch, even without the lock in operation. Who owns this stretch of river, and seeing as there`s a good navigational width, has anybody ever mooted the idea of re-opening it for navigation. If this stretch of river was dredged, it would open up an extra couple of miles of navigation, as well as possibly bring extra tourism and income to Bungay. I know it`s very unlikely this will ever happen, but surely if it`s possible, how would you go about touting the idea, and to who.

Also, even though it`s not navigable by cruiser, has anybody ever done this stretch by dinghy or canoe?, as it`s something i`d love to do if it is at all possible?.

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Hi Neil. When we met you at Gelderston last year, after you had left,

4 canoes came from that direction and tied up, had a bevvy, got back

in and headed back up river so must be ok for that kind of boat.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi Bill, Karen won`t set foot in a canoe, but when i was in Canada in 96, some colleagues and i went canoeing in Algonquin park, and we followed a circular route of approx 25 miles. It was a great trip, but a bit much now being 15 years later, though the trip from Geldeston to Bungay would be quite doable. I wonder if they hire rowing boats from Rowancraft marine?, she `s quite happy going in a rowing boat.

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You're a very naughty boy David! :naughty: I have seen people take powered tenders beyond the footbridge at Geldeston, but believe that the agreement reached with the landowners along that stretch was for the use of unpowered craft only. I seem to remember reading a year or so ago about the planned enhancement of that stretch of the Upper Waveney for "quiet recreation" I believe they termed it - imnproving the footpath and encouraging canoes by making portage around the sluices etc. a little easier.

Between Geldeston and Bungay town centre there are three obstacles which require you to take your vessel out of the water and physically carry it around to get back in the water again. This is obviously not a problem with canoes, but how easy it would be to do with a dinghy I don't know. Somewhere online there used to be a very nice guide to canoeing this stretch which included details of the portage points and how far you had to carry your craft around the sluices and weirs. Heading upstream from the Locks Inn, you will first encounter Ellingham Weir - you will need to lift the canoe or dinghy out here at the official portage point and carry it round (this may be a couple of hundred yards). Further upstream you will encounter Wainford sluice which again requires portage of your craft. Just outside Bungay is another sluice.

Plans to reopen the navigation between Geldeston & Bungay have been mooted quite a few times over the years, but in all honestly it would just not be economically viable. I have various newspaper cuttings and quite a few notes about the "Lost" navigations which I hope to eventually collate together for the website ..... but haven't had the time to do so! If the locks needed to be reinstated then the costs these days would be extremely prohibitive when weighed up against the benfits gained from re-opening such a short stretch of the waterway. The lock at Ellingham was filled in - the link below takes you to one news cutting I have from the 1970s which reported on that event. At that time the reopening of the NW&D Canal and the Upper Bure were also mentioned. I think I also have a news cutting on a proposed new cut being put in the connect the Bure at Tunstall to the Yare somewhere near to Reedham (thus bypassing Breydon) and another from the 60s which included the estimated costs at that time to reinstate the Upper Waveney, Upper Bure and the NW&D Canal.

http://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/documents/news/news_70s/70s_extendingthebroads_waveney.JPG

Carol

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Thanks for posting that clip Carol, it`s a lot more informative than i thought it would be. Very interresting to read that it would only cost £300 to re-open the lock at Ellingham, and that the total cost of re-opening the whole stretch (at that time) would have been "considerably less" than the original estimate of £30,000. How much would that equate to in modern times i don`t know, but nowadays, they would probably be quoting fictitious figures in many millions. I say fictitious because i believe there would be a lot of very influential people in some kind of beaurotwatic authority who would possibly stand to lose some sort of financial gain. The beaurotwats will ALWAYS lie through there back teeth to refuse nessecary investment in something useful, that will see unessecary quango funds being re-directed. Yes i know i`m being a tad synical again, but imagine if they HAD re-opened that 7 mile stretch (i did`nt realise it was as much as that) of waterway, and how much extra tourist income it would have brought in in the last 40 odd years. As for the NW&D canal, well. it would`nt be difficult to dredge it and cut back over hanging trees etc to Honing lock, but to go any further may need the re-building of locks etc, but if river levels are rising as we are being led to believe, there may NOT be any need for locks, but just increase the height of the bank, by using the dredgings etc. There are many ways to cut down on expenditure, but the BA would NEVER sanction such things. It begs the question whether the mention of "private enterprise" would change their minds?.

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Well for all three of the canals mentioned (the Bungay Navigation, Aylsham Navigation, and North Walsham & Dilham Canal) there's a very good reason why the Broads Authority aren't interested in them - they're outside of the BA's area of responsibility, a fact that would require an act of parliament to alter.

Certainly in the case of the NW&DC, a combination of private enterprise and volunteers have done sterling work over the past three years or so restoring the canal, but as far as I'm aware, there's no intention of making it navigable for vessels larger than canoes and small dinghies. One of the reasons why it was never particularly successful is that it suffered from a shortage of water, a situation that's worse now as many of the feeder ponds have dried out and been turned over to other use (not to mention that the last section of the canal has been filled in, and I think may have been built over). If/when the restoration is finished, I expect that the owner of the canal is likely to prioritise what water is available for powering his water mill (the reason he bought the canal in the first place) over allowing vessels through the locks on anything more than an occasional basis.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi teadeamon, do you happen to know of any info available about the NW&D canal restoration, as i`ve been looking at google sattelite pictures, but they are about 3 years old, as are the street vies, and in some areas, these waterways seem to be reasonably free of overgrowth. It would be great to see how things have progressed.

Also, just exactly where does the NW&D start, as it looks to me as though the Ant would be tidal (but hardly noticable) to Honing lock. Does the private ownership of the NW&D start at Honing lock, and if so, who is responsible for the tidal stretch between the lock, and the junction with Dilham dyke?.If it is in fact the BA, then it would fall to them to re-instate the waterway to navigable standards, and i don`t meen only by canoe, as navigation rites were issued for large trading wherries.

The same goes for the upper Waveney, which is tidal to the site of the second lock at ellingham. If as David (Antares) and Carol (Adnams girl) says, you can go up as far as the site of the first lock, it must be tidal all the way, which i would have thought would render Geldeston lock totally unnessecary. In theory, (and i stress "theory") it would be quite simple to re-instate these stretches of what looks to be "tidal" river, by simply dredging and cutting back overgrowth. The only drawback i can see is the adjacent riverside land owners/farmers possibly not allowing mooring?, and of course the BA for not wanting to spend revinue that can be used for global conferences and administration fees (otherwise known as "beaurocracy).

As for lack of water, considering we keep hearing of "rising sea levels" and the so-called "threat" to the rivers of the broads, this would be an ideal way of overcoming this threat.Or is this just another example of the BA`s "excuses"?.

I`m going to have to do something about my "synical" nature ;););)

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Breydon Water is out of the BA's judistiction too, but they're taking over responsibility for that.

Umm, no they are not and current EC legislation as to the way this piece of water is classified would prevent them from doing so. They do provide a good warden service on this particular stretch of water and can 'advise' people to slow down, take the correct path etc, however, as this stretch of water comes under the auspicies of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority and is currently covered by COLREGS the responsibility for avoiding a collision is somewhat different to that on the river and all folk who cross it should be aware of those responsibilities.

I would be more worried, being a hire boat company, of the acceptance of ECE/Trans/sc3/172 which sets out minimum standards for inland navigational standards. This directly maintains Breydon (mentioned) as an commercial inland navigable area. I would also make yourself aware of the definition of a 'commercial' craft as if this is agreed later this month, a 'for reward' hire boat may come into the same category as an above 20m craft and may then not be able to cross Breydon without a professional skipper......

Have a good read here

http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/tran ... -Rev1e.PDF

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