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Report - - Bridgin’ The Gap, Crewe - June/ July 2024 | UK Draining Forum |

Report - Bridgin’ The Gap, Crewe - June/ July 2024

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Useful Idiot
Regular User
June 2024

This is my first dive into the world of culverts, I covered the full thing over a number of visits once solo another with @stranton and a third with @Mr Budge. The Valley Brook is the largest and most important of the streams that run through Crewe, together with its tributaries, about 80km of watercourses may be reckoned. The brook begins its career high up in the Staffordshire Hills near Talke and meanders its way into Cheshire and eventually joins the River Weaver near to the town of Nantwich. During its meander through the town the brook takes a winding path towards Queens Park. This municipal park was given as a gift from the London and North Western Railway company to the people of Crewe in 1888. One of the park's standout features is the meticulously landscaped man-made lake. Back in 1883, a dam was constructed on the Valley Brook, flooding approximately two hectares of land and creating this stunning lake. To ensure its water-tightness, the area surrounding the brook was excavated to a depth of about 2 meters and the clay was expertly compacted through a process called “puddling".

BtG Map.001.jpeg

For nearly three decades, the river flowed through the lake, albeit with a few challenges. Over time, the river brought along tonnes of silt, causing issues along the lake's banks. In 1913, the decision was made to culvert the river in an attempt to alleviate these problems. To fund this project, the Crewe Corporation borrowed £2,980, allowing them to redirect the stream underneath the lake.However, this culvert posed a new challenge as the lake started losing water regularly due to evaporation and leakage. A solution was urgently needed to replenish the lake as required. And what better way to do so than by utilising the brook itself? In 1913, a Wormscrew, manufactured at the nearby Crewe Locomotive Works, was installed and continues to be in use to this day. The culvert is actually made up of two separate culverts that have been joined together in the middle with a bridge covering the gap, this has created a vast space in the middle with sunlight breaching the structure.




[2] - @Mr Budge in the distance


[3] - Sluice Gate


[4] - Counterbalance


[5] - Infall


[6] - Infall




[8] - 'The Bridge' which connects the two culverts with @stranton in the background

GRONK1 (copy).jpg

[9] - The Bridge








[13] - Outfall


[14] - Outfall​

Cheers for looking :thumb
Fujifilm X-T2, 10-24mm f4 R OIS WR (Velvia)​
Last edited:


subterranean explorer
Regular User
i've been looking forward to seeing your report,
nice stuff & well photographed. :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
great pics and report, especially the first one, looks almost like a castle or something!! I always thought this area of Cheshire must have more to it regarding culverts/drains/underground stuff, and you have definitely proven that, especially impressive as you mention your first dive into culverts, going to scroll up to view your report again now!!


Massive Member
Regular User
There's a little poo processor and holding tank just next to this 👍



Useful Idiot
Regular User
There's a little poo processor and holding tank just next to this 👍

I did not know that was there, I know where I’m off! :rofl

It makes sense though, what is now the golf course was once the towns sewage works.