Waterbodies & Maritime => Waterways => Topic started by: Islesy on June 17, 2010, 12:16:46

Title: The River Dour
Post by: Islesy on June 17, 2010, 12:16:46
Rising at Watersend, near Temple Ewell, the Dour is a chalk river that is regarded by the Environment Agency as the best Brown Trout habitat in Kent. Centuries of industrialisation along its eight kilometre course have taken their toll on the river, and now nature needs a helping hand to preserve the Dour.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4708294757_608330f439.jpg)

It is due to the Dour that Dover owes its very existence; the valley that it cut through the chalk cliffs providing a grateful haven to the first settlers, and by the Roman period the wide estuary of the river made an ideal harbour.


The industrial use of the Dour can be traced back to AD 762, when the first written records of a corn mill at Buckland were made, the first of any mill in Britain. Over the years, the use of the river as a source of industrial power served thirteen watermills - eight being corn mills, the others manufacturing paper, as well as iron foundries, saw mills and a tannery.

This industrialisation led to the Dour being dredged, widened, cleared of plant life and diverted, giving the river channel along its length an unnatural, straightened form with artificial man made banks.

Where a river flows in a widened channel, as the Dour does in many places, silt builds up as the flow of water is too slow to keep the particles and dead vegetation suspended, so they deposit on the river bed. This will gradually build up, covering the gravel on the river bottom which is needed by the fish to spawn in.

Siltation also means that insects such as Mayflies, Damselflies and Caddis Flies upon which the trout feed cannot survive, as they too rely on the cracks in between the gravels and stones to live.

Rotting vegetation also reduces the quality of the water, producing toxic gases that rob the oxygen from the water. This then leaves a habitat that is only suitable for the most pollutant tolerant species like Blood Worms and Chironomids.

The biodiversity of the river is also hampered by the  introduction of non-native plant and animal species such as Himalayan Balsam and North American Signal Crayfish. Himalayan Balsam grows aggressively, and can very soon overwhelm the river bank, blocking sunlight and preventing native species from taking hold, whilst the introduction of the North American Crayfish also brought crayfish plague to our river systems. Our native species, the White Clawed Crayfish, found itself under attack from both a disease it had no immunity to, and from a larger, more aggressive predator.

The River Dour is now being managed pro-actively by the Environment Agency, which recognises that chalk streams are a priority habitat for protection and conservation. I joined Tom Reid, Biodiversity Technical Specialist and his colleagues in torrential rain and thunderstorms at Temple Ewell as they were in the process of reintroducing plants such as Water Mint, Marsh Marigolds and Water Figwort to the Dour.

Temple Ewell Parish Council has worked closely with the Agency  to restore the river; gravels have been introduced and silt has been dug from the bed, then shaped to create meanders and bends that mimic the natural course of the river.

Local residents are in full support, Mr Hailwood's property faces on to the river and he considers the work to be, 'absolutely fantastic, in the last 25 years I have seen the river go from bland stream, to disappearing completely, to the wonderful sight that we have today.'

The urban nature of the Dour as it flows through Dover presents many challenges, and the Environment Agency will be working with the River Dour Steering Group to maintain and protect the river.The Group meets twice a year and provides a forum for those interested in the Dour. Members include the Environment Agency, the White Cliffs Countryside Project (responsible for litter clearance working parties), Dover District and Dover Town Councils, River and Temple Ewell Parish Councils, voluntary groups such as the Dover Society and River Conservation Society, Dover Harbour Board and Veolia Water.

The Group receives presentations of the work, plans and ideas of the members with the intention that local people are made aware of what is, and what will happen, to  maintain and improve the Dour, and at the same time local concerns can be raised. Currently the main concern is the silting up of the old mill ponds and the risk they pose of flooding.  

Those who come to the meetings are only too aware of the special nature of Dour and of how much of an asset it is for the town, albeit one that has only achieved a fraction of its potential.

Copyright Paul Isles/Dover Life Magazine
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on June 18, 2010, 08:36:21
A very interesting article Islesy.I haven't been on foot in the upper areas of the river for a while but have briefly seen bits from train or bus.
The river by the Barton Path seems to be attracting more wildlife these days.I went to Castlemount school annex in 1961/2 and that little stream next to it is still running i see.I suppose this is just an overflow channel of some sort which must leave the main river on the other side of Cherrytree somewhere.It's a bit overgrown these days though.A bit further down the path i noticed work on a culvert that leaves the river on the opposite side to the footpath.A brick lined gulley leading to it is silted up now but was clear in the early 1960's.
The stretch between Ladywell and Pencester Road also attracts a surprising amount of wildlife.We've seen eels,brown trout,moorhen,ducks and a heron.The strong flow of the river here is a danger to moorhen chicks and we saw one swept away near the college.The current is easing off a bit now though.The Nailbourne in the Elham Valley has been running this year but the flow was also lessening last time we took the bus that way.
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: delboy on June 18, 2010, 09:49:00
Towerwill, the overflow was for Chittys mill , the water flow was restricted by them to provide power when it was used as a flour mill. I used to help the maintenance gang at DEW clean the river up to the overflow. It runs under part of Balfour, Beaconsfield and under the new flats in Granville st. rejoining the main river at Bridge st. It provided water to the silo in Granville st as well as taking the excess water away when the river flow was restricted. delboy
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on June 18, 2010, 19:02:08
Right delboy that explains where it goes to.If i remember rightly it had a little sluice gate at the Barton Path end.That must have been the mill the Germans demolished.We got hold of a fibreglass van rooftop and this was able to carry three of us up and down this section of river.The bit nearest to where that mill used to be was considerably deeper(rear of Granville Street).
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: delboy on June 19, 2010, 17:55:26
Right delboy that explains where it goes to.If i remember rightly it had a little sluice gate at the Barton Path end.That must have been the mill the Germans demolished.We got hold of a fibreglass van rooftop and this was able to carry three of us up and down this section of river.The bit nearest to where that mill used to be was considerably deeper(rear of Granville Street).

Here you are towerwill, one of your boating pool and one of Barton path, delboy

(http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad117/dovermarine/khf/charltonmill.jpg)

(http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad117/dovermarine/khf/Bartonpath.jpg)
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on June 19, 2010, 20:39:20
Many thanks delboy.That is indeed our boating pool.The buildings in the background were gone of course.I take it that was Chitty's mill and silo?We also managed to float in the shallow bit by the Barton Path.Just shows how little depth of water a flat bottom vessel needs.
Title: Re: Thr River Dour
Post by: Sue2010 on September 28, 2010, 18:40:53
Where the River Dour crosses Bridge St in Dover there appears to be a channel coming in from the right bank on the downstream side. Does anyone know where this channel is from or its history. please.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: delboy on September 29, 2010, 13:25:49
Hi Sue2010, If you mean facing down river on the bridge, the bank nearest Morrissons, that is the overflow channel from the mill. Halfway  along Barton path, bottom of Limes Road, there is (was) a sluice gate that could be opened to allow a flow of water to run under part of Balfour Rd, the new flats in Granville St.and emerging there. This flow,apart from relieving the water level in the mill pond( see previous pics,  was used in the silo tower to operate various bits of the mill when reqd. delboy
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Sue2010 on September 30, 2010, 16:04:01
Thanks Delboy! Yes that's the one I meant. I have just spoken to the curator at the museum and he says he has a map showing all the mills and bypass channels, leats etc. so I should be able to identify the other structures too. Thanks again.

Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 09, 2010, 14:07:53
Plenty of life in and around the Dour even in November.We've just seen a mallard with 10 small ducklings on the Dour not far from the Bowling Green and the usual pair of moorhens there.A lone moorhen has turned up near the college footbridge.This could be the same one from earlier in the year.
A grey wagtail is zitting about  and the large brown trout is still keeping station near the Ladywell bridge.What seems to have been absent this year are the eels.It may have been in 2008 that we saw several eels coming and going under a large paving slab.This is in the Dour close to where a large concrete pipe enters the river near to the police station.Any sightings of eels in the Dour this year?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 14, 2010, 12:48:41
We've been discussing if the large brown trout may have come from the sea via the Wellington Dock and the Bubbles entrance to the River Dour.I believe this has a large round hatch over it which is forced open by the River when the water level in the Dock drops.A couple of years ago there were a couple of really big trout in the River.One of these we later saw lying dead.I understand trout are related to salmon.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: theartist on November 17, 2010, 15:43:14
hello all sea trout are brown trout that have migated to the sea then return to spawn,rainbow trout are a non indigenous import fom canada the large salmonid you saw in the town were stocked rainbows possiblly escapees from a fish farm.the environment agency has installed a fish pass so sea trout have acces to the river.sea trout are a very secretive fish that tend not to show their presence. i am informed seals are getting into the pent making the odds against migratory species very low for survival,let alone displaying for all to see as they run upsteam.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 19, 2010, 16:49:09
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/fromWellingtonDocks0032.jpg)
"The Bubbles" where the River Dour enters the Wellington Docks.An interesting article on the River Dour brown trout can be found at UK Fishers Online.I saw several on my walk down today.Some have been holding the same positions for days now.The large one near Ladywell bridge is still there.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 06, 2011, 12:10:10
I saw a recent article in the Dover Express stating that the Wellington Dock is going to be drained while repairs and dredging is carried out.I believe the lock gates are leaking but i haven't got that edition of the paper now to re-read the article.It did say that downtown Dover residents can expect a considerable stench due the exposed mud.That's what happened when the dock was last drained.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: helcion on November 06, 2011, 12:29:54
Towerwill   -

Quote
I saw a recent article in the Dover Express stating that the Wellington Dock is going to be drained while repairs and dredging is carried out.I believe the lock gates are leaking but i haven't got that edition of the paper now to re-read the article.It did say that downtown Dover residents can expect a considerable stench due the exposed mud.That's what happened when the dock was last drained.

From the DHB website    -

http://www.doverport.co.uk/?page=News&article=168

http://www.doverport.co.uk/?page=Marina

Repair works on Wellington Dock Gates!

It has recently come to our attention that there is a fault with one of the dock gates in the Wellington Dock.  Unfortunately, this means that it is necessary to allow the Wellington Dock to go tidal in order to carry out the repair.  

Although there will be a gradual reduction in the head of tide from 01st November, the dock will go fully tidal on 23rd November when the repair works will take place.  It is anticipated that these works will last six to eight weeks.  We are aiming to use this as an opportunity to clear the dock of any rubbish that has accumulated.

Please note Berth availability for visitors will be severely restricted at this time.

Also see   -

http://www.doverforum.com/letters/viewtopic.php?id=8537

Cheers

Helcion
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 06, 2011, 13:39:35
Where will this lot go ?? photo taken earlier this year, Wellington Dock

(http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa448/keniff1/P4223444.jpg)

Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 06, 2011, 18:47:24
Thankyou for the info and interesting links helcion!It seems we're in for some stinks in town if the wind is in the wrong direction.I suppose the fish will just have to go in and out with the tide keniff when the dock goes fully tidal.Nice picture too:are they called grey mullet? It will be interesting to see the Dour water crossing the dock at low tide.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: helcion on November 07, 2011, 22:15:13
Towerwill     -

I was talking to someone who had seen Wellington Dock last time it went tidal in the mid-90s & was told that even at low water there was water running thru the dock as the Dour cut it's own shallow channel, but that a lot of the bottom was exposed.

Will certainly be worth a peer into the dock at low water spring tides   -

http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tides/?port=0012

Cheers

Helcion
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 07, 2011, 23:09:01
Yes cheers helcion,i shall need to study your link and try and get down the dock at low tide and in the daylight.I wonder if the Dour will scour the mud off to a chalk base at low tide.A very old dock much changed even in my lifetime.I can remember carrying laundry baskets up very steep gangplanks onto Townsend ferries moored there in the late 1960's.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 11, 2011, 15:36:47
Piccie of Wellington Dock, drained ..

(http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa448/keniff1/582c99bc.jpg)

Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Islesy on November 11, 2011, 15:51:21
I sense a 'Then & Now' coming on...

Would you have a date for that Keniff? I'm thinking 1975-80?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 11, 2011, 16:16:51
I sense a 'Then & Now' coming on...

Would you have a date for that Keniff? I'm thinking 1975-80?

Sorry, nothing on the photo's - I do have another showing the "Canterbury" in the dock at the same time
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: helcion on November 12, 2011, 19:15:05
The Wellington Dock photo was reposted on the Dover Ferry Photos forum [with permission] & the opinion there is that the ferry is definitely the 1952-built LORD WARDEN & that the photo was probably taken in the early 1960s.

The ship’s funnel was modified in 1956 & in October 1964 she became the first British Rail ferry to be repainted in their new scheme of a blue hull & red funnel with the British Rail logo.

In the photo she still has the black BR hull & apparently the ships were allowed to get a little tatty before the rebranding.

More info at   -

http://www.doverferryphotos.co.uk/pastandpresent/lordwarden.htm

The forum is at   -

http://www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk       Registration is necessary

Thanks to Keniff & the photographer,  Bob Hollingsbee.

Cheers

Helcion
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 14, 2011, 08:56:17
The ship in the photo is the "Lord Warden"
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: JohnWalker on November 14, 2011, 14:48:05
Out of interest - where/how exactly does the Dour join the dock.  I can see it on Google disapearing just before the dock.  There are two what look like culverts coming from below the Outlet Centre but they are at a different angle to the direction of the Dour.

John
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: JohnWalker on November 14, 2011, 16:40:18
What are the two culverts for that come out from under what is now the Outlet Centre (shown in the photo of the drained dock) ?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 14, 2011, 21:45:20
Ah yes JW it comes out below the dock water level at the rear wall in my photo and the reason for the name "The Bubbles" becomes apparent when you have a look over the railings.The river exit might have a heavy top hinged metal door over it.I'd like to see it too when the dock is drained again.(any photos anyone?)If i think back to when this was a working dock those two culverts went up into the boatyards that were there.I believe they have a gradually rising slope.I know we played down in them and the water would rise up and down in them with the tide.I can't recall at the moment of having seen them in use in the 1950's and '60's but the boatyards were in use then.Someone may have more details though.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: helcion on November 16, 2011, 12:56:46
Islesy     -

Quote
I sense a 'Then & Now' coming on...

Would you have a date for that Keniff? I'm thinking 1975-80?


John Hendy  [ferry book author] advises me   -

Quote
The Kent Messenger (9th October 1964) states: "Dover Harbour Board has had to remove the gates in the (Wellington) dock to effect repairs and the basin is, for the time being, tidal."

A couple of pictures that I took at the time appear in my 'Remembering the Lord Warden' - these are dated 10th October which suggests, by the state of her hull paint, that your images were taken in the week prior to that.

Cheers

Helcion
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 21, 2011, 14:44:25
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/Bubbles221Nov2011.png)
"The Bubbles"at low tide.I'm wrong again as there's no door or gate on the River Dour's exit into the Wellington Docks.As can be seen there's a band of shellfish on the dock walls.That mud has got the potential for a fair old pong too!
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/Bubbles121Nov2011.png)
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 21, 2011, 17:46:08
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/Bubbles3.png)
Another photo of "The Bubbles" above.The photo below is of one of the lock gates hanging from a crane jib.I think the other gate was still in position but some people started walking across and there's not a lot of room on that walkway.
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/WellingtonDockcranewithlockgatetakenfromswingbridge.png)
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 21, 2011, 19:09:48
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/WellingtonDock21Nov2011atlowtidewithcraneandlockindistance.png)
The top photo is looking towards the crane with the lock gate hanging from it's jib.The Tidal Basin can be seen beyond the swing bridge.
The bottom photo shows where the Dour goes underground at New Bridge.
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/NewBridgeRiverDour21Nov2011.png)
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: theartist on November 22, 2011, 15:43:31
does the dock now dry out at low water?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 22, 2011, 17:46:01
There will probably be pools left here and there at low tide and the Dour's channel winding through the mud banks.The Tidal Basin was something like that with the colliers and gravel boats sitting on the mud at low tide.I was down there yesterday a bit before the water was at it's lowest though.I hope the fish survive now Dock is tidal for a while.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on November 22, 2011, 20:07:47
You're correct Towerwill. I went down there at low tide this afternoon to take some pics. The smell was really bad.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6059/6384942521_a7305d1998.jpg)
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 22, 2011, 22:23:57
It had all the makings yesterday unfairytale.I wonder how bad it'll get if they start shifting the stuff?The creek at Sittingbourne had a very strong pong at certain times too,at least that's what i was told was causing the stench up at the station.An interesting link you've added on the "Towns and Villages>Any ideas please" thread as it deals with some of this dockland and river area too.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: sheppey_bottles on November 23, 2011, 17:16:41
Mullet are sea fish, Rudd are freshwater fish. If Rudd go into sea water they will die although they are tolerant of slightly brackish as found in some dykes. The only real fish that you can move directly from the sea to fresh water is the Eel ( I have never done it the other way round). If there is a fear of death or pollution to fish then the Environment agency should be notified.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: man-of-kent on November 23, 2011, 17:37:12
Has anyone got a picture of the actual source of the Dour. Is is just a small spring?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on November 23, 2011, 17:57:35
There's a small pond at Drelingore on the Alkham Valley just behind and West of the white pumping station. That's where the Dour bubbles-up.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: man-of-kent on November 23, 2011, 18:13:32
It must be a VERY small pond   :)  I can't see it on the 2007 Google Earth sat image or the 1:25000 OS map. Is it like the official source of the Thames, where water is only visible at times of heavy rain?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 23, 2011, 18:28:53
There's a small pond at Drelingore on the Alkham Valley just behind and West of the white pumping station. That's where the Dour bubbles-up.
Another contentious issue ! I have heard several locations for the source of the Dour, Temple Ewell, Kearsney, Drellingore.  I have also been told that the brook / stream at Drellingore is called the Northbourne or Winterbourne, I don't know. The link below may assist

http://www.dover-kent.co.uk/places/river_dour.htm

I will trawl through my books again over the weekend and run a few comparisons
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on November 23, 2011, 20:01:54
I expect they're both sources of the Dour although Drellingore is three miles away from where the two sources meet. I've just been looking at a Bygone Kent which shows the lake at Drellingore, I also have some photos of the river running down through the Alkham Valley, I'll scan them later.

  I wonder how often the river would break surface if the pumping station at Drellingore were 'switched off'?

 A Mr G Gough carried out a survey in 1956, his report is at Dover Library, in it he mentions the various sources, Lydden Valley, Alkham Valley, Poulton Valley, Elms Vale and the old spring at Ladywell. These are mostly dry valleys now due mainly to extraction by water companies.

 The pond at Drellingore, he states is fed from a spring a bit further up the valley at Chilton from where water flowed almost constantly, (this was in 1956).
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on November 23, 2011, 21:54:31
This is J. Harman's photo of the pond at Drellingore.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6037/6391222801_ce5315a9f6.jpg)
From, Bygone Kent. vol 18 no. 1.

These are my pics of the flooded Alkham Valley near Wolverton from the winter of 2009-10.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6222/6391092733_b7fff7162d.jpg)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6054/6391092479_cd35c7d665.jpg)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6239/6391093323_d2c765c7ec.jpg)
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 24, 2011, 08:58:24
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/AlkhamHogbrookHillLaneNailbourne.png) From Google Earth street scenes.
The course of the stream at Alkham.This is at Hogbrook Hill Lane which is a route from Alkham to Hougham.I don't know if the stream's running in the shot above or if it's just rainwater off the Lane.Some years after prolonged spells of rain i believe the stream also goes over this bridge as well as under it.It may have been in the Dover Express paper that i've seen photos of the nearby pitch flooded by the stream.There is a similar stream in the Elham Valley which when running can be nicely seen from the top deck of a number 17 bus. 
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 25, 2011, 16:01:18
As far as i could see from a single deck bus via Alkham today the lakes at Bushy Rough and Kearsney Manor were nearly dry.A contrast to unfairytale's photos of 2009-10.A long wet spell is needed again.I wonder what the water level is like in the Kearsney Abbey lake?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: theartist on November 25, 2011, 16:09:14
my partner who works at kearney manor tells me the sluice and dam wall are under repair, so little water in pond.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 28, 2011, 08:26:38
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/Watersendnearto.png) From Google Earth street scenes.
The stream on the left is another tributary of the Dour.This is the one that that runs under Kearsney railway viaduct and into the Manor Lake.I've only cycled along here a couple of times so i'm not very familiar with this spot.This is at Temple Ewell and a bit further upstream is the aptly named Watersend where there was a pond but i can't see it on G.E. now.Anyone remember Watersend Condiments?A part of the OK sauce company their small factory near here made horseradish sauce and mint sauce.I guess that's an old watermill straddling the stream and Mill Street is on the other side of the stream.The mill's history might be in another thread.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 28, 2011, 08:34:07
I feel a "before and after" moment coming on - nothing much has changed .

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6417317729_73eeb28c5c.jpg)[/url]
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on November 28, 2011, 11:11:14
That's The Donkey, public house. Now a private dwelling.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: keniff on November 28, 2011, 13:07:53
Someone has told me that one of the sources of the Dour is Archers Pool in Collards Meadow at Drellingore ??
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on November 29, 2011, 16:54:15
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/TempleEwellandRiverDour.png)
My old Ordnance Survey map (Sheet TR24 First Series) shows the upper reaches of the Dour quite nicely.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Islesy on December 06, 2011, 16:42:48
What is interesting to note, is that since Reply#32 by Towerwill, the Dour has started to shift the silt from the mouth of "the bubbles". You can clearly see the shingle base to the river bed now - just goes to show that forcibly holding the water back in the dock contributes to siltation at the mouth of the river.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on December 30, 2011, 08:59:51
I wonder if the dredger David Church has started work yet in the Wellington Dock(islesy's photo in 'repairs to dock gate')?The dredger in my boyhood days had a continuous chain and bucket system which was lowered to the sea bed.The noise it made when dredging was a tremendous groaning and squealing sound which could be heard in town.
One thing we did notice while out visiting a friend at Temple Ewell yesterday was that the stream feeding the Kearsney Manor Lake is indeed dry.
This is the stream normally running under the railway viaduct.Another friend, who lives further up the valley at Lydden, told us a couple of weeks ago that a man inspecting a borehole there said the borehole was dry.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on December 30, 2011, 09:10:31
i was talking to the Park Keeper there a few weeks ago he said the lakes have been slowly emptying over the last couple of months due to lack of rain and increased pumping from the station at Drellingore.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on December 30, 2011, 16:29:03
The dredger David Church is moored in the Tidal Basin again this afternoon.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: man-of-kent on January 01, 2012, 17:36:55
If the stream continues to dry up, would this cause problems for the Crabble Mill?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on January 01, 2012, 21:49:18
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/CrabbleMill.jpg) From Google Earth street scenes.
Some time ago the Dour(above)started seeping it's way around the mill wheel and cracking Lower Road. I think the roadway was narrowed while the repairs were carried out but I can't recall the year or full details. That may have been due to too much water coming down the Dour though. It'll be interesting to see what difference the recent heavy rains have on the river water level.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on December 31, 2012, 08:57:43
I see my above post was made on the 1st of January 2012 so here's one for the 31st December 2012. The heavy rains for much of 2012 have indeed raised the water level in the Dour a good deal. The level is now well above the small wood and shingle banks that were installed a couple of years ago. At the footbridge near the Bowling Green, it's risen towards some pipework suspended underneath the bridge. This pipework is a collector of all sorts of rubbish including a wooden pallet. I hope the pipe is not carrying anything too vital!On the other side of this footbridge a line of posts have been driven into the riverbed and wire mesh fencing has been fixed to these posts. This contraption runs alongside the footpath, about two feet away from the bank. I've seen a couple of such fixtures between the two footbridges.
Has anyone seen if the streams through the Alkham Valley and the Elham Valley are running again?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: trainman on December 31, 2012, 17:50:22
Interesting article on the River Dour. I lived in Dover for about 25 years in Albert Rd. and the river was just round the corner to Maison Dieu. I used to take my daughter there to watch the fish, my last visit was about 6 years ago, the water view was all weedy and not much water running, but it was summer so I assume it looks healthier in the winter, and just a question. There was some sort of water gulley about a metre wide that ran between the houses in Castle Street (on the left facing the castle). Was this also the Dour?  It must go out to sea somewhere. At the time I looked at this gulley it was dry, so has the water been diverted by some greedy water board.
  trainman
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on December 31, 2012, 18:42:07
Hi trainman! I lived around the corner from Albert Rd. (in Salisbury Rd.) and had some very good friends in Albert Rd. However there is indeed a little branch going off the main stream at Castle Street. I don't know where it goes though. Perhaps it rejoins the main stream down river. Funnily enough this area is known as Stembrook from the days when the river really split into two branches here. This gulley had water running in it last time I looked. I believe there's people on KHF who have made quite a study of this area so perhaps they can provide more info.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: trainman on December 31, 2012, 20:57:01
 Happy new year to all  KHF nembers.
 trainman
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: mickiewickie on January 29, 2013, 18:29:07
I have just purchased a flat in the Old Flour Mill, 113 London Road Dover. This flour mill is on the River Dour, does anyone have any original photos or information of this building?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: delboy on February 02, 2013, 17:36:14
mickiewickie, I emailed you to let you know I`ll get some info together for you. delboy
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 17, 2013, 16:44:31
From what I've heard it seems a cycle path is being made to run alongside the River Dour. I don't have the details as to how far it will run but at present the footpath by the Bowling Green is closed off. From a distance yesterday it looked like the present path is being widened out to the posts and wire netting placed in the river bed, which would explain their purpose. I understand it's also going to follow the footpath besides the river at Pencester Gardens. Unfortunately both these areas are frequented by the druggy/alchy brigade in warmer weather who tend to take over the public seating. One of these on his bike and with a dog running beside him shouted out for me to "get out of the way you stupid expletive-deleted idiot" a couple of years ago. So don't expect a pleasant walk or ride along here at certain times!

A bit of light entertainment was given when we saw one of the alchys fall backwards into the river at Pencester Gardens. This had the welcome result of sobering him and providing a bit of a wash for him and his clothes!
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: unfairytale on August 02, 2013, 20:42:58
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b037xm6b/Urban_Jungle_South_East/
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on January 14, 2014, 22:22:27
The cycle/pedestrian path has improved the walk alongside the river from the bowling green to Pencester Road.The seats are gone now.Anyone know if the Nailbourne down the Alkham Valley is running again?The Dour is as high as i've seen it for a long time.From the railway near Bekesbourne Station it looked like the Elham Valley Nailbourne is running again.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Cletus on January 15, 2014, 20:26:31
I went up through the Alkham Valley the Sunday before last and there was no sign of it.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on January 15, 2014, 21:30:17
Thanks  for that info Cletus. We'll have to see how much the Dour does rise if that stream starts flowing again. It's up to the pipe under the footbridge by the bowling green and rubbish is building up against it. The moorhens living near here are finding fewer places to perch on as the poles they use are now covered by water.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on January 16, 2014, 15:14:05
Had a ride on the 91 service double decker bus today and the Nailbourne through Alkham is running again. It appears to run below the field surface in places on the Dover side of Alkham village then comes to the surface again further down the valley.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: skinny on January 20, 2014, 00:08:32
Regarding the Elham Valley Nailbourne.
I had a conversation with a chap from the Environment Agency last night and he said that the Nailbourne was running from the Black Robin at Kingston.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on January 20, 2014, 07:49:16
That's interesting skinny. We were on a Victoria bound train a couple of weeks ago and saw it was running again near Bekesbourne station. Again from the top of a double decker bus on the Canterbury/Folkestone Scenic Route we were able to see it running a few years ago. It also had the habit of flowing below the surface in places and appeared to have a spring in a golf course near the top of the Elham Valley.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 01, 2014, 11:45:09
The Dour is still rising and I see there's a flood alert in place for the Elham Valley Nailbourne. The Dour yesterday was flowing over a pipe that's below the pedestrian bridge near the Bowling Green. Normally it's well below this pipe. The  moorhens are finding it hard to locate perches too.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Andyb on February 01, 2014, 14:39:54
Nailbourne has just overflowed and flooded Brewery Lane, Bridge.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 01, 2014, 15:52:04
Right Andyb, it's really flowing now then. All this wet and windy weather causing a lot of problems on the local railways too. Fingers crossed it doesn't cause a landslip along the Warren. I wonder what the situation is at the HolyWell near Folkestone. I've forgotton how many decades ago it was when I saw the water there flowing across the fields.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 04, 2014, 17:02:50
From the trains today we could see how the Elham Nailbourne has spread out across the fields at Bekesbourne and also that there has been a considerable chalk fall at Shakespeare cliff.Network Rail are putting a 40 MPH speed restriction in place this evening.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 04, 2014, 17:20:41
I got the Trailer to run me out onto Chartham Downs over the weekend, still can't drive 'cos of ankle. The Nailbourne there is in a pipe, I know this was done back in the early 1990's, but lower down it is showing signs of overflowing that. I believe that if this weather carries on then I will see her rise for the full length again.

S4.
Title: Re: The River Dour/Nailbourne
Post by: Andyb on February 04, 2014, 21:15:30
Environment Agency are now warning residents in low lying areas of Alkham Valley to be flood aware and take precautions.

From Environment Agency SE Twitter feed 18:00
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 04, 2014, 22:07:38
Yes, it's all getting very dodgy in low lying areas. Very nasty for those people who's homes have been flooded. My old girl owns a house in Dour Street so fingers crossed there! I saw streams running today that I've never seen before, despite many years with British Rail. We saw places where landslides have been too and lots of P.Way staff were out by the tracks.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: delboy on February 09, 2014, 19:18:02
Alkham Village Green and the Drellingdore running, taken last Wednesday.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on February 09, 2014, 21:42:10
Nice photos delboy! I'd forgotten that name for the Alkham Valley Nailbourne. I typed the name Drelingore into Bing Maps and it took me to a place near the pumping station. Not many other buildings there though. It's a good job the bit of river beside Morrisons was dredged as it's thundering over the weir there, as high as I've ever seen it. Ted and I waded through that covered over section where you used to work at DEW delboy.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on March 15, 2014, 16:42:58
Spring on the Dour at last. The river level has dropped several inches and two pairs of moorhens were fighting beak and claw in the river opposite the bowling green. The vicious little birds laid on their backs in the water to attack each other with their claws. It looks like we may have two breeding pairs on that stretch of the river this year.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: Cletus on March 19, 2014, 21:07:12
The river was seemingly a bit higher today along Barton Path, and much muddier as if after rain. I can't remember it really raining recently, or does it just take that long to reach the town?
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on March 19, 2014, 21:38:07
We haven't been along the Barton Path for quite a long time Cletus. In fact it was quite shallow then but thinking back to when I went to Castlemount School Annex in 1961, the little side stream nearby would sometimes have quite fast running water and then be nearly dry at other times. Back down near the Bowling Green the moorhens can now walk along a pipe recently covered by water. We took the train to Victoria yesterday and saw that the fields near Bekesbourne were still flooded in places by the Nailbourne.
Title: Re: The River Dour
Post by: TowerWill on May 06, 2014, 11:44:53
The Dour water level has dropped quite a bit but the current is still very fast. I don't know how much this is affecting water fowl chicks and their survival rates but the Bowling Green pair (the pair nearest to the footbridge) appear to have only one chick so far this year. I think they had 3 or 4 this time last year. This chick is keeping close to the river wall much of the time. Still plenty of brown trout near the footbridge though.