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The September Exploration day out to the South Forty Foot / Black Sluice Drain.

When we came out of Boston Grand Sluice onto the tidal River Witham, we were fascinated by the large drain sluice opposite the Boston Docks. This is the tidal out fall of the large South Forty Foot Drain, AKA the Black Sluice Drain. On one side of the sluice there was a couple of sets of pointy flood plug doors, with guillotine gates the other side of the road bridge. These looked navigable in an on the level, falling tide, Old Bedford Sluice kind of way. 
Further investigation has found out that the Black Sluice Drain forms part of PROJECT HEREWARD 2. This project is the follow on from part 1, which was the extending of locks in the Nene - Great Ouse preferred way through the Middle Level. This next project is to use the existing Black Sluice Drain, part of Car Dyke and a new section of Drain to connect the River Witham to the River Glen and the River Welland to the River Nene. The scheme has also been adopted by the Environment Agency as its Blue Wheel project. This project featured on the EA stand at the IWA National at Milton Keynes in 2001. This page is a pictorial of our day out to investigate Back Sluice Drain and the section of the Car Dyke round Peterborough, that will be used.

O^S Landranger Sheets130,131and 142 will be needed to see the route.

THE BOTTOM SECTION OF THE BLACK SLUICE / SOUTH FORTY FOOT NAVIGATION IS NOW CONNECTED UP TO THE TIDAL RIVER WITHAM WITH A NEW LOCK IN THE BLACK SLUICE PUMPING STATION


End at Guthram Gowt looking up. Beyond the trees / garage is the River Glen Dyke. A new flood lock would have to be put in there and this section widened and deepened. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


End at Guthram Gowt. This culvert bridge would have to be rebuilt with navigable headroom. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


End at Guthram Gowt looking back. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Hole Drove Sluice OS Sheet 130 167252. A lock would have to be built around this structure. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Hole Drove Sluice OS Sheet 130 167252 Looking down from. From here to the tidal Sluice at Boston the drain is as good as navigable. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Hole Drove Sluice OS Sheet 130 167252. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Hole Drove Sluice OS Sheet 130 167252 sign in pumping station. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Footbridge by Star Lode OS Sheet 130 166262. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Looking down at pipe bridge at OS Sheet 130 165268. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Casswell's Bridge OS Sheet 130 165275. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Casswell's Bridge OS Sheet 130 165275 Dunsby Lode. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Casswell's Bridge OS Sheet 130 165275 looking up at pipe bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1397 Bridge looking up at Bottom Fen Farm. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1397 Bridge looking down. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1397 Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Neslam Bridge Looking down from. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Neslam Bridge Looking up from. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Neslam Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A52 Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A52 Bridge looking up from. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A52 Bridge Swarton Lode. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A52 Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A52 Bridge looking down at railbridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A17 Swineshead Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A17 Swineshead Bridge looking up at. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A17 Swineshead Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A17 Swineshead bridge looking down from. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


A17 Swineshead Bridge side drain pumping station. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1192 Hubberts Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1192 Hubberts Bridge looking down at Boston Docks. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


B1192 Hubberts Bridge The Wheatsheaf Inn pub. Could you not just imagine the mooring pontoon outside? Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.

Wheatsheaf.jpg (140551 bytes)
2010 UPDATE - The South Forty Foot Navigation is now connected up to the Tidal River Witham with a new lock in the Black Sluice pumping station. A new floating pontoon has been provided for the Wheatsheaf Inn pub.

Wheatsheaf Inn website


Boston A52 Bridge. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Boston entrance to North Forty Foot Drain. This was one potential way of getting a non tidal connection to the other side of Boston Grand Sluice. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Boston. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Boston new A16 Bridge (old railbridge). Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Boston Black Sluice Drain pumping station. Tidal River Witham beyond. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Sluice Drain pumping station drain side entrance. If these guillotines could raise to navigable height, then an on the level, falling tide passage would be possible with the Tidal River Witham, and hence through Boston Grand sluice and onto the on tidal River Witham. The final proposal would probably be to construct a double guillotine lock this side of one of these sluices. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Sluice Drain pumping station salty side. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Black Sluice Drain pumping station salty side entrance. Black Sluice / South Forty Foot Drain.


Below Eye. Car Dyke. it is around here that a new connection would be made with the non tidal River Nene


Pumping Station at end with River Welland. Car Dyke. We got to the other side of this. All that is needed here is a set of navigable height flood doors.


Peakirk Bridge. Car Dyke.


Peakirk Bridge. Car Dyke.


Bridge OS Sheet 142 175043 Looking down. Car Dyke.


Bridge OS Sheet 142 175043. Car Dyke.


Bridge OS Sheet 142 175043 Old Bridge. Car Dyke.


Farcet Bridge. Old Course of the River Nene (Pig Water). This used to form a connection between Stanground and Yaxley, on the Middle Level, before Bevill's Leam pumping station was put in and the level allowed to fall beyond.


End in Bourne. Bourne Eau could easily be made navigable again, to connect this pleasant town up to the River Glen.


Maxey Cut. A really no hope way of a partial route to connect up the Rivers Welland and Glen without having to use the tidal connection between. 


Maxey Cut. 9 Bridges.


Maxey Cut. 9 Bridges.

Tour 2001 Index


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