High Tide
  • Anyone else catch this?  The highest I've seen in years, up to the door of the Rose & Crown. Highlight was some canoeists arriving at the pub door, like Wivenhoe's answer to Venetian gondolas...     Anyone have photographs?
  • Yes a few! will post when I have a mo..


  • Here are two pictures of the great wivenhoe flood this afternoon
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  • Great pictures Chris.

    A classic example of being in the right place at the right time, with a camera. I've always got one with me, but sadly was not in Wivenhoe this afternoon.

    The first thought from my wife and myself echoed Simon's comment, concerning the barrier. I have plenty of similar pictures and video of such scenes, with swans swimming past the Nottage entrance, but all taken some 30 or 40 years ago - before the millions of pounds were spent on the barrier to stop this. Was it shut today, when it mattered?!
  • Colne Barrier_water levels for Dec 16 2012.jpg
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  • the barrier wasn't closed and the water levels left very little headroom to the jetty and adjacent paving. Was there an elevated water level due to barometric pressure? Any one know? see picsimage
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  • Here you go, canoes and all...

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  • ark - I think the high water level was simply due to a 'spring' tide.
    The tide chart below shows that we're heading out of that phase now.
    But whether there were any additional atmospheric pressures at play is a question that is not so easy to answer.
    Everything about tides and how tricky it is to predict some of them is all here:

    Tides for Dec 2012.jpg
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  • A few from me
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  • Great pictures but why was the barrier not shut?  Is it not currently working?  Should I be moving my most precious things upstairs and preparing an evacuation plan in case of a tidal surge?
  • Good question! And one that only the Environment Agency can answer. But for what it is worth, although it was a high spring tide, it was pretty much in line with the astronomical predictions. Given that the weather was so calm, i could well imagine the EA took a risk-based decision not to close the barrier: after all, each closure must have cost implications.
  • I heard someone comment that there was an 'ongoing maintenance issue' with the gates at the moment, but I also recall being told, during a tour of the barrier, that closure was only to protect buildings, not gardens from flooding, or cars parked without regard to tides etc.

    Some wonderful photos; many thanks to all!

  • Good photos, shows another face of Wivenhoe.

    Was there any damage to buildings near the water? I have been told that houses near the river have their sitting rooms upstairs, while the ground floor do not have electric sockets near the floor, to guard against flooding.

    In other words, flooding is expected and included in the planning of the buildings.

  • The barrier was closed on Friday after a flood alert but not on Sun when it seems the levels weren't expected to be as high, so it looks like the barrier is working okay.

    I have also heard the rumours of houses designed for expected flooding, but stroll round the area and you'll find there are plenty of homes with ground-floor living rooms – and kitchens. I believe electric sockets are fitted higher up the wall these days because of disability/access guidelines for new-builds.
  • What a marvellous site on Sunday. Sipping my Ale in the Rose and Crown. I thought I saw approaching canoes. I did! I wonder if the barrier people were having their xmas party. Blimey!
    Enjoy the pictures. War time spirit was alive and well in Wivenhoe. The chaps trapped on the tables were brought beer by those in wellies. Excellent. We are so lucky to live here.

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  • Er, to stop floods?

    No properties were flooded so clearly the EA decided that the high tide was within manageable levels.

    There's more to the science that simply opening and shutting the barrier. If there's significant run-off closing it could cause more problems, water flows from both directions.



  • God I hate that Sherlock phrase. It's down ther with "yeah, whatever" and "Don't go there".  

    Anyway, I understand that its main purpose is to protect Colchester from a flood surge from the sea.


    Prior to it being built the village frequetly flooded.


    Dr Watson

  • The tide charts predicted it would be a large, but not exceptionally massive tide on Sunday. The equinox tides in September were forecast to be higher than last Sundays, but it didn't turn out that way.

    How big the tide actually turns out to be is also dependent on wind and atmospheric pressure. Although what I couldn't work out was that there was hardly any wind on Sunday !

    Around this coast if you get a high tide forecast, combined with low pressure and a northerly wind, you are very likely to get an extremely big tide.

  • A letter from the EA explaining the protocol for closing the barrier, sent via Cllr Julie Young, for publication.

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Wivenhoe Diary
Many thanks to Wivenhoe News for helping to source these dates
1 - 30 April, James Dodds exhibiting at Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
11 April - 10 May, Jarman's Dungeness, an exhibition by Andy Brooke celebrating Jarman's vision 20 years on, Wivenhoe Library
23 April, Italian Literature, start of a five week course with Giovanni Colacicchi, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm
23 April, Wivenhoe Film Club, Bicycle Thieves, The Nottage, 7:30pm
24 April, poetrywivenhoe, Allison McVety, The Legion, 8pm
24 April, Funny Farm Comedy Club, Andrew O'Neill, Cricket Club, 8pm
25 April - start of Wild About Wivenhoe month. Various events centred around the Wildlife Garden. Full details to be published... when known!
25 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, open-air bicycle-powered cinema, bar, evening food, all at the Wildlife Garden
26 April, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife Dawn Chorus Walk, meet at 5am in the train station car park
26 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art and Photography Exhibition themed around the Wildlife Garden, William Loveless Hall
26 April, Bird Walk with Richard Allen, Sailing Club, 10am
29 April, Moving Image, All is Lost, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
1 - 31 May, Terry Curling, Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
1 May, Wivenhoe in Bloom working parties, meet at Optician's garden, 10am
1 May, Folk Club, Roger Davies, The Flag, 8pm
2nd May, Wivenhoe Society Talk, Richard Moulson, CBC Ranger: 'History and Management of Colne Nature Reserve, Wivenhoe Woods and Ferry Marsh, The Nottage, 7:30pm
3, 4 and 5 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Nature Trails in the Wildlife Garden, starting and finishing in the Library
3 May, WTFC Vs Diss, Broad Lane, 3pm
4 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art Workshop in the Library
5 May (and every Monday...) The Monday Club, Scout and Guide Hall, 1:30pm
6 May, W.I. Hedgehog Haven, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
7 May, Wooly Thoughts, knitting and discussion, Bookshop Shed, 10 - 11:30am
7 May, Bookshop Reading Group, Sara Maitland's Gossip from the Forest, The Bakehouse, 7pm
9 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, presentations about wildlife in gardens, and gardening for wildlife in Wivenhoe Library, presented by John Rowland, Glyn Evans & Chris Gibson
10 May, Friends of St Mary's AGM and Lunch, St Mary's, 11am
10 May, SingWiv! Natural Voice Singing Workshop with Chris Rowbury, Scout and Guide Hall, 2 - 4:30pm
10 May, Concert: the Voigt String Quartet - Mozart Mendelssohn, St Mary's Church, 7:30pm
11 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Birds of Prey, King George V Playing Field
12 May, Life Writing, ten week course with Petra McQueen, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 11am - 12:30pm
13 May, Moving Image, Nebraska, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
14 May, Wivenhoe Town Council Annual Meeting, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm, all welcome.
16 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 3pm - 8pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 May, Farmer's Market, Congregational Hall, 9:30am - 12:30pm
17 and 18 May, Wivenhoe Open Gardens, various locations around the town
17 and 18 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Wildlife Garden - activities for children including pond dipping, poster competition, moth and bat evening (Saturday)
17 - 26 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 10am - 5pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping and Bat Watching, Wildlife Garden
18 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping - the reveal!
20 May, Moving Image, Saving Mr Banks, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
28 May, Italian Literature - part 2. Five week course with Giovanni Colacicchi, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm
29 May, Wivenhoe Funny Farm Comedy Club, Paul T. Eyres and support, Cricket Club, 8pm
15 June, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Wildflower Walk in the gravel pits behind the cricket club, 11am
29 June, Jazz on the Quay, 1pm