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Here's a blog from Julie Corbett, a volunteer on the Tidal Barrier in Hull city centre.

On the Friday night of the Freedom Festival this year (2023) I saw the tidal surge barrier had been lowered. Even though the barrier was completed in 1980 and has been deployed several times I had never seen it move.

View of deployed tidal surge barrier from Scale Lane Bridge

You can read Hull Maritime white badge tour guide, Don Knibb’s detailed blog about the surge barrier here. I hoped that I would be able to see the barrier going back up the next morning. Another thing I was interested in was how high the water in the river Hull might be. As mentioned in a previous blog post here, the surge barrier may need to be lowered when the Arctic Corsair is berthed in the North End Ship Yard. I was very keen to take photographs of the temporarily dammed river.

Walkway west bank of river Hull with footpath closed sign

Happily, I arrived Saturday morning before the surge barrier was raised. The river was still very high and the footpath from the Millenium Bridge was closed. I went to see how high the river was near the North End Shipyard. As you can see none of the mud often visible could be seen.

Looking from east bank of river Hull to North End Shipyard whilst tidal surge barrier deployed.

The river was noticeable higher all along the course that I walked. It did not completely cover the established areas of mud bank with vegetation between Scale Lane Bridge, under Myton Street Bridge and before the tidal surge barrier (west bank).

West bank of river Hull

The surge barrier does not completely stop the exchange of water. There are five sluice gates in the barrier controlling the flows.

Surge barrier's sluice gates

I did video the barrier as it was raised. It was surprisingly quiet. The passing traffic on Myton Bridge easily overwhelmed the noise was making. It was strangely mesmerising watching the procedure. It took around twenty minutes. This may not be the whole cycle as I only observed the main movement of the barrier.

While I was there, I noticed a Hull Maritime White Badge Guide checking her route. You can book a free walk with a guide. More details here.

Ailsa checking her maritime route walk.

The tide at this point was still high and the water was very still. As the barrier was going up and particularly as it turned from vertical to its resting horizontal position water dripped, almost like a rain shower from it.

Tidal surge barrier just completing its ascent to resting position

It certainly was a lovely morning to wander around the area. Very glad it was a calm and peaceful high tide. Hoping for such a good day for the re-berthing of the Arctic Corsair in later this year. Read more about that here.