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Collapsed Tumbling Bay Weir Causes River Wey Towpath Closure

Published on: 2 Nov, 2019
Updated on: 3 Nov, 2019

A section of the Tumbling Bay weir that controls the level of water in the River Wey’s Godalming Navigation at Millmead, Guildford, collapsed today (November 2) following heavy rain earlier.

The part of the weir that has been washed away. Picture by Ray Slack, from Guildford Past & Present Facebook page.

The towpath now is impassable heading upstream or south from Millmead Lock but can still be reached via the footbridge just south of the Weyside pub by the Shalford Road.

National Trust and council workers were in attendance, as were members of the emergency services to ensure public safety.

Access to the towpath around Millmead is restricted. Picture by Ray Slack, from Guildford Past & Present Facebook page.

The Tumbling Bay weir has some age as seen in this 1900s picture postcard view taken from about the same position as the above image. David Rose collection.

The water level in the navigation has also been affected. Without the flow control of the weir, the water is moving downstream through the section at a much faster rate and the level above Millmead Lock has been reduced by several feet, making it impassable for nearly all boats.

Water is moving downstream through the section at a much faster rate and the level above Millmead Lock has been reduced by several feet. Picture by Ray Slack, from Guildford Past & Present Facebook page.

Guildford Borough Council leader Caroline Reeves said: “The towpath from the weir on the right past the rowing club is closed, so no route to and from town. GBC and NT officers out there now trying to shore up the bank and make it all safe.”

It is anticipated that repair work will take considerable time. We will be asking the National Trust for updates. Please check back.

Did you witness the collapse? Please send your report, pictures and videos to: guildford.dragon@gmail.com

Hole in the road in Walnut Tree Close. Picture by Ray Slack, from Guildford Past & Present Facebook page.

Meanwhile, in Walnut Tree Close a large hole in the road near the railway station is also causing an obstruction. We will investigate the cause and report back.

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test 4 Responses to Collapsed Tumbling Bay Weir Causes River Wey Towpath Closure

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    November 3, 2019 at 12:16 am

    “Lower River Wey – No current or recent warnings.”

    Suppose we just add to the list of waterways engineering features failing under normal extreme conditions this year.

    Could this happen whatever government was in power?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    November 3, 2019 at 2:03 am

    The failure to understand the hjulstrom curve and the effects of running the Wey navigation at over 6 knots has been pointed out to those in control of flooding on the Wey Navigation. A 12 foot deep ‘pit’ in the upriver side of the Bowers Lock weir was recently replaced, caused, in my opinion, by exactly the same reason this weir collapsed – bad water management.

  3. Colin Cross Reply

    November 3, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    A few days ago, in the final paragraph of my letter replying to David Roberts, I wrote: “…our once attractive town lies moribund and rots away at its very core”.

    Events have a way of pointing up how accurate, or not, some claims are.

    Colin Cross is the R4GV borough councillor for Lovelace (Ripley, Wisley and Ockham).

  4. Julian Cranwell Reply

    November 4, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    This is down to successive GBC regimes caring more for lining developers’ pockets form massive housing estates, than taking care of our infrastructure and environment.

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