Peter Marshall

A view of Hull


32p41: Half Tide Basin and entrance locks, Victoria Dock, 1982 - Docks

Previous      Next


Still Occupied

Images on this site are arranged into rough areas by location as in my book 'Still Occupied', available on Blurb. Eventually this site will contain all the images in that book and more.

Taken from the dockside at the north of the Half Tide Basin, close to where a swing bridge led into the main Victoria Dock, already filled in when I made this picture. The two gates lead into the Outer Basin and on to the Humber. The wider of the two - on the left of picture - was 100ft wide and the narrower was used for barges. The Half Tide Basin enabled vessels to enter from the Humber at any time from when the tide was halfway in to when it was halfway out, hence the name, thus greatly increasing the time available for shipping into and out of the dock.
The main entrance had only a single gate and would be kept open while the tide was above half level, then closed to keep the water at half-tide level. Smaller vessels could use the narrower lock at right when the tide was out so long as the outer basin had enough water to float the boat, as the smaller size incurred less loss of water.
As can be seen, the dock was open to the Humber and had silted up considerably by 1982. There were plans to develop the dock as a marina, but these proved too expensive and the developers were allowed to permanently block the entrances. Virtually the only things that has survived from the working dock were the dock walls and the bridge across the entrance from this basin to the now completely filled in main dock to one side of me as I made this picture.
The dock now acts as drainage for Victoria Dock Estate which was developed from 1988; water is stored there and then discharged through small sluice gates when the tide is low. Unfortunately these gates are now silted up in the outer basin and pumps are needed to protect the estate from flooding, as this is cheaper than dredging. It is being used this year as the venue for a series of four performances in Hull's year as UK City of Culture, 'Flood', by theatre company Slung Low who are based in Leeds rather than Hull.
Floods of course continue to be a significant threat in Hull, with major floods in June 2007 and several others since, most recently in November 2016 when large areas of the city were again affected. Mostly these are now due to heavy rain across the area, though a tidal surge caused flooding in 2013. The tidal barrier is said to have saved 19,000 homes from flooding then, but it was a close call, with the water reaching around 8 inches from its top. More than 90% of the city is said to be below high tide level.


Peter Marshall
01784 456474

Home  |  Hull main menu