Thursday 5 September 2013

The secret door of Chester's Weir on the river Dee

Hi All
Our regular readers may know Chris and I are frequent dinghy sailors on the river Dee at Chester.  For some time now we have often been jokingly asked if we are going to bring AmyJo onto the river.  

At first I laughed at the quip and was sceptical but the more I thought about it I did start to wonder if it was actually possible after all I have seen a narrow boat moored on the jetty at the Groves upstream of the weir.  My thinking was as follows :-

We would have to wait for a high spring tide as this is the one time the tidal section rises high enough and back flows over the weir making passage possible for shallow draft craft.

We could lock down onto the tidal part of the River Dee from the Dee branch locks near Chester basin.  

then pass over the weir and moor at the Groves before travelling upstream to Farndon.  We would then retrace our steps back to Chester Basin.

It turns out this is not as far fetched as it seems and that it might actually be possible if the lock gates are restored to use as they are unusable at present.  However it would not be taken lightly and would require quite some planning and rely on the fact all the equipment worked and timing perfect.

Narrow boat crossing the weir at Chester
This trip was mentioned in a comment on Waiouru's website by one of Tom's readers after he posted about the Dee Branch locks. (click here) and it would seem the trip has actually been made.  Tom's reader posted this link that I found fascinating and has fired my imagination to perhaps try one day.  It makes interesting reading and alludes to a little known aspect of Chester's weir that I doubt many know about.

This has prompted me to do a little more research into the possibility and I'l report what I find out if anyone is interested.

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