Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water taxis in Spalding

In Spalding a couple of days ago I was keen to see how the River Welland was getting on. Spalding is the third substantial town it flows through, after Market Harborough and Stamford.

I was pleased to find that it is possible to take a boat trip on the Welland there. There is a regular water taxi from the centre of Spalding out to the new Springfields shopping centre on the outskirts of the town.

The boat starts off going upstream on the Welland, with roads and fine houses lining both banks. If I had known how low my camera battery was I would have made more effort to photograph these rather than the ducks.

Then it turns under a bridge and you find yourself on the surprisingly wide Coronation Channel, which is shown in the photo above. This is part of Spalding's flood defences and was dug after the floods of 1947 and, as its name suggests, was finished in 1953.

The idea behind it is that excess water coming down the Welland can be held until low tide and then safely released into the river without the town flooding. The Welland is tidal up as far as Fulney lock, which is just below Spalding.

I congratulate the people behind the water taxi service on their exercise. It's just that I am amazed that they are allowed to operate it in these days of health and safety.

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