Sunday, 16 March 2008

Change of plan - 16/03/08

After checking the internet on Saturday night I had my doubts for the morning, then looking out of the window on Sunday, had confirmation by the swaying trees that my planned trip on the sea would be put off for yet another weekend. Due to a fair bit of heavy rain Saturday at least the river would be a bit higher so opted for a 'leisurely paddle' up stream.

On arrival at my usual launch site I was not disappointed as the water level was a fair bit higher than the previous fortnight. Turned and paddled upstream and realised immediately that this was going to be far from leisurely!

As well as fighting against the current I also had to dodge the odd obstacle coming towards me i.e trees, tyres etc....

After about 45 minutes of hard slog I managed to reach the railway bridge by Real Radio. I had paddled one and quarter miles and reached an average speed of about 1.3 mph. Knowing I couldn't go much further I had a well deserved breather and took some photos.

My return journey should be a lot easier with the flow. Managed to get back to my launch point in ten minutes reaching a maximum speed of 10.5 mph.

Due to the volume of water in the River the sluice gates were actually serving their purpose in preventing too much water entering the feeder.

These sluice gates feed the Melingriffith Feeder which then makes its way to the old Glamorganshire Canal, where they run in parallel down to the old Tin Works and out the other side at Melingriffith Lock. Built in 1749, the Melingriffith Tinplate Works sat on or near the site of an old corn mill that had existed as far back as the twelfth century. It was once the largest tin works in the UK, until the construction of the Treforrest Tin Works. The works closed in 1957, and today the only obvious traces that the works ever existed at all are the Melingriffith Feeder that runs down from the River Taff. The works themselves appear to have been completely cleared, and the site today is a modern housing estate.

After doing the obligatory risk assessment, which is a compulsory must these days, it was deemed stupid to attempt the weir today without the necessary rescue team on hand!

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