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Megatron - The Lost River

(click to enlarge)
Arriving in Sheffield on a beautiful sunny September day, slightly late due to a last minute hunt for some dodgy waders, I made my way to rendezvous with LE who had already been there for over an hour checking access and admiring the view. Fudges train was running late, so after exchanging pleasantries, myself and LE procured some refreshments before meeting Fudge outside the station. As is the fashionable way, RW & BAJ were running more than an hour late, so in the meantime I attempted to make repairs to my borrowed waders. Half a roll of gaffer tape later and I wasn't convinced, so the waders were ditched in favour of the trusty Wellingtons (and moar gaffer tape). By this time RW & BAJ had finally arrived, so after more pleasantries, the car parking meter was fed for the second time and we were on our way.

Our access point was conveniently located within spitting distance of our cars, so with a funny look from a couple of car park attendants, we were in. Hidden from view by the undergrowth, we started our journey along the lower section of the Porter Brook, following its course as it disappears under brick arches, emerging again only to be enclosed by tall stone walls on either side and buildings towering above.

The Porter Brook's final taste of daylight before it merges with the River Sheaf is an open section in front of Sheffield Midland Station. Usually not much more than a trickle, this video shows what it can be like after a downpour. Thankfully for us it was nice and shallow, so we made an (admittedly leisurely) dash for it, much to the bewilderment of a group of onlookers.

Under cover once more, the Porter Brook merges with the larger River Sheaf beneath the busy Sheffield Midland Railway Station. The river flows through three separate parallel tunnels lying directly below the railway lines. When trains passed thundering above our heads, it reminded us just what a feat of engineering this culvert really is. The stone arches have stood up to the massive weight of the station buildings and all those trains for 150 years.

(click to enlarge)

After a bit of light painting and some wire wool spinning (which annoyingly I didn't manage to photograph) we headed onwards, myself and LE choosing our route carefully so as to avoid the deeper waters which may have breached our wellies. Emerging into daylight once again we found ourselves inside the short open section close to Ponds Forge. The final open section before the outfall. We paused for more photographs and a time check. Fuck! Perhaps three hours on the Pay & Display was a little optimistic. To be fair it was getting late anyway, so we decided to abort before reaching the outfall. At least we have a good reason to make a return visit.


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We think of those nights spent with one or more friends, nights when we merged with the shadows and could see the world with eyes that were not our own.

Whipplesnaith - The Night Climbers of Cambridge (1937)