A Walk around the Riverside during lockdown

We’re all locked up at home with Coronavirus, but they let us out to get exercise, so we took the opportunity to go for a stroll in the sunshine.

Many paths to take to the River Wear
Many paths to take to the River Wear
Durham Cathedral through the trees
Durham Cathedral through the trees
The Rowing Club from across the River Wear
The Rowing Club from across the River Wear
Tree Bark with moss
Tree Bark with moss
The Path from The River Wear to Old Durham Gardens (2)
The Path from The River Wear to Old Durham Gardens (2)
The Path from The River Wear to Old Durham Gardens
The Path from The River Wear to Old Durham Gardens
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (4)
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (4)
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (3)
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (3)
Durham in Tiles - Old Durham Garden
Durham in Tiles – Old Durham Garden
Old Durham Gardens from the path
Old Durham Gardens from the path
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (2)
Old Durham Gardens from the terrace (2)
Durham Cathedral through a gap in the hedge
Durham Cathedral through a gap in the hedge
Old Durham Gardens from the Terrace
Old Durham Gardens from the Terrace
Parched Earth in April 2020
Parched Earth in April 2020

Storm Ciara causes flooding in Durham

Storm Ciara batters the UK

After spending a fair bit of time concentrating on the wind speeds, we sort of forgot about the rain that Storm Ciara was going to deliver. Thankfully we missed some of the squall lines that hit further south. My total for rainfall was only 22.9mm, but obviously far more fell on the catchment areas on the Pennines.

A walk to the riverside was needed and as I was coming down from Gilesgate I decided the best way was the pathway that goes directly to the river down past Hild and Bede College.

When I got there, the water was already over the riverside path in both directions.


To my amazement, there were still people trying to jog along the riverside paths! They were using the little levee between the path and the raging river, with all it’s little hidden dips and gaps that are there to catch the unwary. This guy sensibly swapped onto the path and just got his feet wet.

Two kids then came along on their pushbikes. They at least stopped where I was and asked me if I thought it was safe to go on. I explained that it got deeper heading towards Baths Bridge. One of them tried and turned back when it got axle-deep. I wasn’t joking! Once their pedals were underwater it was impossible to pedal anywhere.

A near fatal accident involving the river

I then witnessed something so stupid that I only realised afterwards that we could have had another river fatality on our hands. However it does explain why so many supposedly intelligent people manage to end up in the River Wear.

A girl (a student I think) approached from the rowing club direction. She had a rucksack on and she’d decided she was going to just walk along the grass levee. Unlike the jogger in the photo above, she didn’t fancy getting her feet very wet on the path, so chanced walking the line on the levee, two feet from the raging river. This all took place about 30 yards to my left.

Unknown to her, and concealed by the water, was one of those little muddy ‘chutes that wildlife use. She stepped down Into it and then fell over. She was up to her waist in water, right on the edge of the river. If she’d over-balanced because of the rucksack, she’d have been swept away. It could have even pulled her in, so strong was the current. Somehow, she managed to haul herself back out. How dim can you be????

A lucky escape and as she came past me, dripping wet, she still seemed quite oblivious to the fact that she’d come so close to losing her life. I really do despair sometimes about how little common sense people have. 😳

River Peaked at 3.05m

The river finally peaked at 3.05m. That is about 2.6m above normal.

Skating on the River Wear in February 1895

This photo was taken (we think) in February 1895. It shows people sweeping the ice on the river, perhaps preparing it for skating or maybe a curling competition. The location is just below Prebends Bridge.

February 1895 was one of the coldest Februaries ever recorded in Durham.

Noticeable is how little vegetation cloaks the slopes below the Cathedral. The building to the left of the photograph is the Old Fulling Mill.

Prebends Bridge can be seen in this photograph, everyone is skating!

The exact source of the photos is unknown.

Durham Castle at Halloween 2018

Durham Castle in the sunshine on the last day of October 2018. The weather was crisp and quite calm after a cold night before. The Castle is used for some ceremonies and houses Durham students during term time. It can be hired privately out of term.

picture of durham castle from beside the river wear

Durham Castle and the River Wear, Halloween 2018

More autumn colours in Durham, back in GMT again

The first day after the clocks returned to GMT was glorious early on, with bright cold conditions. Another walk by the riverbank shows the autumnal colours.

picture of a tree silhouetted against the background taken from pelaw wood
Majestic tree silhouetted in the bright morning sun.
picture of a panaromic view across the river wear from pelaw wood
Panoramic view from Pelaw Wood

 

Path through Pelaw Wood
Wildlife on the river

Durham Cathedral

Autumn colours shining through, October 2018

picture of debs striding out into the countryside around durham
Debs strides out into the countryside
picture of durham cathedral with the foreground lit
Durham Cathedral with foreground sunshine
picture of threatening dark clouds over durham
The clouds look threatening, but really weren’t
picture of people in a canoe on the river wear
Getting landlubbers ready for a paddling session
picture of trees with autumn foliage beside the river wear in durham
Fantastic autumn colours from the riverbank
picture of a fisherman on the river wear under a tree that is reflected in the water
A fisherman on the River Wear
picture of the riverside path beside the river wear with lots of people walking
The riverside path was quite busy in places
picture of my favourite allotment door which is tilted in a hedge
My favourite allotment door in the whole World!
picture of the repaired bankside after the landslide in pelaw wood
The repaired bankside after the landslip in Pelaw Wood
picture of the old father time windvane on top of the bandstand in durham, with blue sky to the background
Old Father Time weathervane on top of the Bandstand
picture of the durham cow statue next to the river wear in durham
The Durham Cow rests in the sunshine
picture of rowers beneath the autumn foliage with baths bridge over the river wear
Rowing beneath the Autumn foliage and Baths Bridge
picture from pelaw wood showing a highly coloured tree in the valley

Deep in Pelaw Wood, view from the Bridge

A cracking Spring day in May 2018. From Prebends Bridge

picture from prebends bridge showing durham cathedral
Durham Cathedral and The River Wear from Prebends Bridge

A gorgeous day in May 2018. View from Prebends Bridge looking towards Framwelgate Bridge. It was the precursor of a fantastic summer. The Durham Cathedral tower work continues, still shrouded in it’s protective covering. The stonemasons are replacing weathered stone blocks at the top of the Main Cathedral Tower, as they have become dangerous.

Prebends Bridge washed away in November 1771

 

The previous Prebends Bridge was washed away in a catastrophic flood on 17th November 1771. It was a storm that proved fatal to many North East bridges on both the Tyne and Wear, as well as many smaller tributaries.

Heavy snow in Durham – “The Beast from The East” March 2018

An Easterly outbreak, dubbed “The Beast from The East” by the media, dumped a substantial amount of snow on us at the end of February and early March 2018. When such a weather synoptic occurs, we tend to get plastered in snow here on the North East Coast. Temperatures hover around zero and potent snow showers are readily blown inland, reaching Durham without too much trouble.

Here’s a view across The River Wear from the path just as we emerged from Pelaw Wood. Snow was 8-12” deep in most places, squeaking under our boots as we walked down the track to the river from Silverlink Bridge.

Met Office : Snow and Low temperatures February to March 2018

See the 2nd March report from The Durham Magazine, “Durham Battles to keep moving as the Beast from The East Ravages the County”

Spring from Pelaw Wood, April 2017

A beautiful day in mid-Spring, 2017. The view is from Pelaw Woods across the River Wear to the cricket and rugby club grounds.

The pathway at the bottom of the photograph is still being repaired after a landslip during wet weather in 2013 caused the hillside to collapse. The repair work has taken several years to complete. More details of the work is detailed below.

Friends of Pelaw Wood Website