Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    Not a member yet? Sign up here and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

ranworthbreeze

Broads Authority Briefing September 2019

Recommended Posts

Ex Pilot - you are probably right about the banks although I did think that they did raise a few further "south" - but I was aware they did not actually lift them around you, although they did I believe, extend them in places where previously there were none? 

Thats however not really the point I was trying to make - they did spend a lot of money on the defences in Broadland generally, presumably then making them more secure? Presumably that was necessary or surely they would not have spent £20m plus doing it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that is a compelling argument from expilot. With that in mind, I hope Tom (BA) will respond to the question - what can be done to get more boats through PH Bridge??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

It was posted on this forum some while ago that back in the 50s boats with around 7ft 4ins (Brooms Admiral comes to mind?) were able to transit the bridge, yet now, boats with around 6ft 6iins are rarely able to do so.

Without detracting from the overall argument (with which I agree) I would just point out that the old Brooms Admirals, along with other pre-war boats such as Queen of Light, were much narrower in beam across the cabin top than more modern designs of centre cockpit, sliding canopy cruiser. It is not just the height, but the shape, that counts.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn’t there only one answer to the question of how to lower the average height under Potter Heigham bridge?

You have to lower the water level in the whole system. That means from Yarmouth to Horsey. 

 

In in regards to Expilots point about not raising the banks, wouldn’t the “filling in” of gaps to the previous level have a significant impact?

Is that what you meant Marshman? Like filling a small leak in a boat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its all down to the yards really I guess - building boats slightly narrower would be a good start I suggest!!

But WHY though? Surely it is one of its prime attractions is that the area continues to remain like the whole of Broadland was many years ago and reflects a time gone by? Is that not worth preserving? It is still easily accessible if you have the right boat, and you have the mind to? Go on, hire a sailing boat and explore it like others, and indeed I have done many times.

Even the most hardened of you must admit that all that is so special would be spoiled by the modern behemoths - those who really care can still access it easily but it does serve a purpose in keeping out those who do not really care and who would probably spoil it - it is a special and fragile environment so why not keep it that way? I and many others, would support that I know!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, marshman said:

Even the most hardened of you must admit that all that is so special would be spoiled by the modern behemoths - those who really care can still access it easily but it does serve a purpose in keeping out those who do not really care and who would probably spoil it - it is a special and fragile environment so why not keep it that way? I and many others, would support that I know!

I do agree with that - wholeheartedly. Thinking about the Broom boats of today, the sedan styles really do create a lot of wash. That fragile environment mentioned above would suffer greatly as I have no doubt the helms would travel just as fast above the bridge as they do below it. Along with many others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Quite so, 5cm (2") in 100 years, and sea levels have supposed to have risen, but not even by an inch over the same period,  so less than 3" overall, yet the stone bridge at potter heigham has dropped by what some people have quoted as over 9" in 60 years, a fact proven by (as stated above) the number of boats that used to transit said bridge every day without trouble, yet are no longer able to do so. It was posted on this forum some while ago that back in the 50s boats with around 7ft 4ins (Brooms Admiral comes to mind?) were able to transit the bridge, yet now, boats with around 6ft 6iins are rarely able to do so. That`s actually 10ins difference, so if you take the (max) 3"  from rising sea levels and shifting land mass, that still leaves 7" unaccounted for.   What is a historical fact is since the 50s the volume of traffic that use it has multiplied at least 5 fold, and the average weight of the average car has over doubled since the 50s. Another geographical fact is the land structure in and around the Broads is very soft, look at the sinking house at Horning as an example, so any heavy solid structure will over a given time sink. 

It`s convenient for people to believe prefered theories to win arguements and discussions, what IS`NT convenient is proof that their arguments may not be true.

In 1977 we went through with Caravelle2 and one of the Constellations if anyone knows what air draft they had. Pilot said they were biggest boats to go through

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its the beam thats most rel]evant!!! Someone somewhere will have an old catalogue...........?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sea Gypsy, the pilot may have said one of the bigger boats to go through.  From memory, Constellation and Caravelle needed 6' 10" at Potter bridge (Although I think Caravelle may have need an inch less now I come to think of it).  There were many boats needing 6' 11" and 7' 0" in the hire fleet - including Broom Admirals - that often passed under the blockage.  The stepped sheer Alphas, as we used to call them, all needed 6' 11" (bar one that didn't have a handrail immediately above the side saloon entry) and they frequently got through until my last couple of years when the tides were more often high than low.

Reference Batrabill's comment about filling in the gaps, I am confident that the Flood Alleviation Project will have achieved precisely that, but I can think of nowhere on the Thurne where there was such a pre-existing overtopping point that would have eased things at the bridge.  The tides have to be very, very, high (4' 11" at the bridge) before fluvial overtopping takes place.  Even Grendel's much promoted Martham boats would be marooned one side or other of the bridge at such heights😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, marshman said:

 And I will stand like PW in the wall, to stop you lifting Potter Bridge - think of something else to spend money on!!!!

So please explain WHY YOU DON`T WANT the bridge to be raised back to a level where all the low airdraught designs can again pass through it, and be made to remain at that height for the future?. What is real benefit for keeping the bridge in a way that the clearance will only keep decreasing.  You seem to want the netwwork dredged for you to sail on, but DON`T WANT OTHER PEOPLE to enjoy the area.

Smacks to to me of pure selfishness.

For me though, a worthy project for the BA and whichever other authority to invest OUR money on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, expilot said:

Perhaps ST can then prove, with hard evidence, that the bridge is sinking.   

Perhaps YOU can give evidence that it IS`NT?. 

One other question, if what you BELIEVE, with all your "local knowledge"  this is really true, just exactly how much the depth of water has either increased or decreased?.

I await your EXPERT evidence with bated breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just cannot, with respect , understand why you won't believe the evidence ST??   ExPilot has suggested you contact NCC who regularly carry out surveys to obtain precisely the information you crave - may I suggest you contact them and ask for the information you require? I cannot provide the information you want so badly, but I seem to know a man who does and who has suggested where you can get it!

And yes, I suppose I am selfish to deny some access to that area to stop it being altered forever. Just as you ask what right I have to be so selfish, may I ask what right you, but probably others too, have to destroy what so many seem to wish to keep the same and what is so very special, harking back as it does to an entirely different era?

But of course it is open to you and others too to go there - you are well aware how easy it is to access but making it as easy as you suggest, would undoubtedly destroy exactly what is so special. Its not a theme park where you can "experience" it from the comfort of your large plastic bathtub with the rooftop firmly shut, but an area of outstanding beauty and solitude filled with magical peace  and  with precious wildlife in a unique water filled environment. Destroy it and it could never be recreated.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, marshman said:

Its the beam thats most rel]evant!!! Someone somewhere will have an old catalogue..

Yes I do! I am tempted to quote Michael Flanders and Donald Swann - "It's not irrelevant : it's a hippopotamus!"

Seriously though, here are a couple of pages from Blakes catalogue of 1964.

1078542226_PotterBridgeheight.thumb.jpeg.25404cb87019810d7dfc18bbc611da96.jpeg

 

1713212996_PotterBridgeheight.2.thumb.jpeg.ed2531556bd6e6b828c6d3948abc1210.jpeg

Let's look at their dimensions :

Queen of Light. 42ft by 11ft beam.

Royal Oak. 42ft by 10ft 6"

Admiral. 42ft by 10ft 6"

King of Hearts. 41ft by 11ft.

All the above would pass under the bridge as they had narrow cabin tops or, with the King of Hearts, a clear foredeck and a low profile to the aft cabin, as the deck stepped down amidships.

We also have boats of the same dimensions, such as :

Restabell. 40ft by 10ft 6"

Eastern Sun, 40ft by 11ft.

Sea Prince. 39ft 6" by 11ft.

But these boats will not pass (and it says so) as they have much wider cabin tops and the Sea Prince has a huge wide flare to the shoulder of the bow as well as a wide aft cabin.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree wholeheartedly with Marshman on this one. 

To what degree do we accept conservation by exclusion? Well, in this case no one is excluded, we all have both the right and the ability to access Hickling, albeit not necessarily in the boat of our choice.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thank MM's for his considered intervention.

Reference ST's post and the rather naughty reference that I have ever claimed to be an "EXPERT".  I have never ever claimed to be an expert, but will readily claim my entitlement to be able to claim local knowledge and my preference to base my own opinions on personal, experiential evidence in the absence of other evidence or data.  It is ST who has repeatedly claimed that the bridge is sinking.  As soon as he has published the data to show that he has been right all along, I will concede that the bridge is sinking.  Until then, I will continue to repeat what I have frequently been told by those very people tasked with measuring (with instruments sufficiently accurate) any deflection, year on year, of the listed monument that is Potter Heigham' medieval bridge.

Reference ST asking, "....just exactly how much the depth of water has either increased or decreased?"  I'm sorry, ST, but I simply do not have that information and nor do I know where you may find it, if it exists anywhere at all.

ST does himself no favours in making claims such as, "What is a historical fact is since the 50s the volume of traffic that use it has multiplied at least 5 fold".  In the 1950's Potter Bridge was the only road bridge crossing the River.  The bridge that now carries the A149 over the river didn't exist as a road bridge in the 1950s.  It was still a rail bridge.  All of the A149 traffic needing to cross the River used Potter Bridge, cars, lorries, buses, the lot.  In the hope that the simple and sincere hope that it does not generate ill-feeling, I would, again, ask where I may substantiate for myself such an "historical fact".

For the record, I am not suggesting for selfish reasons that we do nothing to prevent anyone's perceived idea that Potter Bridge is sinking.  I am entirely dependent on reasonable clearances at Potter Bridge to enable me to use my 1960s motor cruiser in waters other than the upper Thurne.  Doing nothing to prevent any reduction in air drafts at the bridge - if such were possible  or desirable -  is most certainly not in my personal self-interest.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, expilot said:

I have never ever claimed to be an expert, but will readily claim my entitlement to be able to claim local knowledge and my preference to base my own opinions on personal, experiential evidence in the absence of other evidence or data. 

As a very knowledgeable ex Potter Bridge pilot, then on this subject, Sir, you are an expert!

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, expilot said:

Even Grendel's much promoted Martham boats would be marooned one side or other of the bridge at such heights😉

at least with a martham boat, if you cant get through the bridge when you pick it up, you have all of hickling and horsey to explore, but its not that often they cant get through, but then with lower roof heights and only 9'6" beam they are better shaped to get through in the first place.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, grendel said:

at least with a martham boat, if you cant get through the bridge when you pick it up, you have all of hickling and horsey to explore, but its not that often they cant get through, but then with lower roof heights and only 9'6" beam they are better shaped to get through in the first place.

I can think of worse places in which to be stranded! People have the choice when hiring as to whether they want to pass though the Bridge or not. As with the railway bridges I don't see this as being the responsibility of the Authority, rather that it is that of the local highways department. Surely the best that the Authority can do is to remind the Highways Debt of its duties in the event of a problem? I suspect that Tom can clarify the legal position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeings as I am currently sat aboard my old wooden broads cruiser, which used to pass through Potter bridge, can I add my few pennith worth?

Chloe Jane used to pass under Potter easily. About 6'9" would do it. She started as Waveney Princess and became Aston Cairn when they took over the Loddon yard. Check Craigs site for information and then check your Hoseasons brochures for any mention of Bridge restrictions.... you get the idea.

Anyway these days she don't fit, well she does on occasion but it's more often than not no chance. 

The Broads Authority told me (I asked) the increased water level was both caused by firstly an increase in rainfall from climate change meaning more water off the land (a fact I dispute having gone back over Norfolk rainfall data for the last 50 years) and secondly an 'allowing' of the reduction of flow in the lower bure to stop salt incursion and protect the environment upstream on the flood tides.

Now, whether Speedtriple's  argument regarding the bridge sinking holds merit or not, Martham Boats raised their quayheads, their fuel pump and their pump out shed a few years ago. I doubt all their land was sinking....?

By the way, "buy the right boat" is an argument that's flawed. Keep that one up whilst our navigation is eroded further and the "right boat" will be a canoe. Nobody expects one of Ferry Marina's finest to fit,  they were never designed to, but boats that went through week in week out should still be able to do so. 

And, if we really care that much about the environment up there, fit speed limiters to the day boats!! The caring hirer will never notice and the hooligans will no longer challenge for the biggest bow wave :default_gbxhmm:

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

100% agree with wot JA said in all paragraphs.

 The same goes for 'B.A' - and she needs 'Only' 6ft5"

Griff

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Marshman, I just cannot understand your standpoint.

There are facts and there are opinions on this. It is a fact that the bridge clearance is less than it was back in the 1990s. I would like to know why this is. I am not in denial about climate change, but I do doubt that this is the cause of the problem, though that is an opinion.

You say you like the levels as they are as it harks back to a "different era". I want the clearance returned to that era.

I agree with you (and therefore disagree with SpeedTriple) about the bridge sinking. The bridge, in my opinion, is NOT sinking, the water level is rising. However, there seems to be another possibility (the one that I think I believe) the water level has, over the years, risen possibly climate change, possibly the sinking of the south east region. this has added just a few (very few) inches. but what I do think is that the tidal rise and fall has changed. The variation is far less than it used to be effectively making it "high water" for most of the time

10 hours ago, JanetAnne said:

The Broads Authority told me (I asked) the increased water level was both caused by firstly an increase in rainfall from climate change meaning more water off the land (a fact I dispute having gone back over Norfolk rainfall data for the last 50 years) and secondly an 'allowing' of the reduction of flow in the lower bure to stop salt incursion and protect the environment upstream on the flood tides.

That I believe is the crux of the matter. and I further believe that this is a dredging issue. These are both opinions or beliefs, call them what you will.

This "allowing of the reduction of flow" is just positive spin. It could also be called "failure to dredge" this is of course being a cheap option. and the "protect the environment upstream on the flood tides" is just a handy way to justify it.

What you seem to imply that you want is to reduce boat traffic upstream of the bridge especially for fibreglass cruisers

15 hours ago, marshman said:

from the comfort of your large plastic bathtub with the rooftop firmly shut,

as you put it, so please forgive me, but yes, in my opinion, that does sound a little selfish. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

but what I do think is that the tidal rise and fall has changed. The variation is far less than it used to be effectively making it "high water" for most of the time

Yes.

Here I go again on one of my hobbyhorses :

The more you build up flood banks on the lower reaches of the Bure and Waveney, in order to allow farmers to grow arable crops on what was always grazing meadow, used as "washlands" to absorb high tides, the more the tide has to  go further up the river before it dissipates.

Coupled to this is the lack of sufficient dredging on the lower Bure, which restricts the ebb tide (and the rainwater) from flowing out again. I am convinced that if they restored the washlands in the lower reaches, the problem would be half what it is now.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/09/2019 at 18:44, dnks34 said:

Hi Tom, 

Why are electric vehicles necessary?

As I understand it they are expensive to buy and expensive to put right if they go wrong with battery packs running into the several thousands. 

I can only assume budgets are strained with the amount the Toll has risen in the last 10 years so how can purchases like this be justified?  Surely a standard vehicle would be more cost effective?

 

Hi dnks34,

These days many electric vehicles aren't considerably more expensive to buy than ones powered by traditional petrol/diesel, unless you're talking about Teslas or BMW i8s (which unfortunately I don't think are entirely appropriate for our use!). We are also able to take advantage of discounted prices through our procurement process, reducing the cost further.

We currently have one electric vehicle, a Renault Zoe, which was modestly priced and is popular in the office. It has a range of 180 + miles which is very usable for getting around the Broads area. Many modern electric vehicles thankfully aren't constrained by the poor infrastructure and usability of earlier models.

As Peter has alluded to in his comment, we're committed to trying to reduce emissions where possible and replacing some of our older pool vehicles with electric ones is an obvious/easy win and is a chance for us to lead the way. It's worth mentioning that other bodies such as the Environment Agency already have a large fleet of electric vehicles.

With regards to what's next... office heating/lighting, assessing the suppliers we use for services, evaluating the impact of goods we procure and increasing green initiatives in the office are all things which are being looked at (to name just a few). Reducing carbon impact is one of those things that can be achieved in a myriad of far-reaching ways and making some easy wins is a good place to start. I'll also testify that our office temperature is chilly at the best of times!

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/09/2019 at 20:24, boycee said:

Hi Tom

On the starboard bank at two locations between Beccles and Worlingham there is signifcant weed and reed growth extending to around 10 feet into the river. These growths are on two right hand bends and neccessitate the helms pulling to the middle of river to avoid them. They have been there now for at least two seasons and are still growing and definetly present a hazard which needs removing. Hopeing when you report it that some action is taken in the interest of safe cruising

Thank you

Boycee

Good morning Boycee,

I've let David our lead weedcutter know about this and hopefully we'll be able to address the problem areas next time we're near Beccles - I'll keep you updated when I hear anything back.

Cheers,

Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • NBN Mobile App

    Want to use NBN when you're out and about?

    Get our mobile app for Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.