Report - - Porter Culverts Waitrose/Decathlon, Sheffield,March 2017 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Porter Culverts Waitrose/Decathlon, Sheffield,March 2017


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The River Porter whose source is high up on the hills west of Sheffield flows through Sheffield leafy suburbs, through several parks then with only one mile left through Sheffield city center it goes underground through a series of culverts. Some of these culverts are modern 1940/50 and some are Victorian 1860 to 1900. The culverts are so extensive that this report just covers the section from Waitrose Supermarket to Decathlon Sports Store, a distance of about 800 meters. The culvert construction is so varied and the land being used for several types of industry over the last 200 years that you could include dozens of photographs to give a true picture.

Access to the river was not easy, a choice of wade through 4 foot deep pool at bottom of a weir or climb down 15 foot culvert wall, I chose the later as I did not want to get wet at the beginning of this exploration. The initial entry point is very disappointing as it is shrouded in ugly concrete but once inside the culvert you are treated to a beautiful Victorian brick arch, this then changes to stone then to really old stone what looks like a bridge incorporated into the culvert. Investigation back home showed this to be a old bridge over the River Porter, providing access to Broomhall Cornmills, early 1800,s or earlier as there were no culverts over the river pre 1850. Only gone 50 meters and three types of construction already.

I then entered a large concrete box area around 8 meters wide, at the far end I could see the river enter a modern concrete box culvert built around 1950,s I think, a bit uninspiring to look at but very easy walking in 9 inch of fast river water but nice level concrete base to walk on. On passing a ventilation/access grill in the roof I new I was under Waitrose car park and entering a older type of culvert, low with a central wide channel I soon passed under Waitrose Supermarket itself, a very modern low section took me under the loading bay, this meant crawling this section on hands and knees, the builders having no consideration for culvert explores of the future.

Disturbing several pigeons I was out in the daylight in a short open section the water was flowing very fast in the central channel so carefully I entered the next section this again was a low brick arched roof with a wide central channel containing all the water. The choice was walk with your back painfully bent double or walk in two foot of fast flowing water in the central channel, I chose the painful method as I had no love of water slides and I had a feeling that,s what I would end up in.

Eventually came to a small weir with water also appearing to enter at the sides, probing with my walking stick shallowest area was nearly the depth of my waders, no intention of going back so entered the water on tip toes and crossed couple of meters to safer ground, this was the hardest point of the explore, another 50 meters of walking and back out in daylight again

The next section was only 200 meters but had hit the headlines in January 17 2017 "Massive Sink Hole Opens Up in decathlon Car Park " it was the concrete culvert collapsing into the river not that many people seemed to know the river was there. Many previous explores of this culvert will have seen the state of the reinforcing all hanging down as far back as 2010. I entered the safe Victorian section of culvert, very nice dressed stone and proceeded to the disaster zone, soon I was looking up at the sky through a 15m open section that had collapsed, I did not hang about for long but needed my photographs, I was soon out the other end and realized I had been down there for 6 hours, so much to see and photograph.

All that,s was left was the walk across town back to my car attracting that look of, whats that strange man doing with waders on in town ?

Then it Change to Stone

Entry to Beautiful Victorian Brickwork

Very Old Bridge Incorporated In Culvert

Entry to Concrete Box section in Far Corner

Boring Box Section but Easy Walking

We all Have to Look at The Ventilation Grill

The Painful Walk

The Quick Way if You Like Water Slides

Would Make a Good Water Slide Though

The Deep Bit

Disaster Area Ahead

Headlines "Giant Sink Hole Opens Up in Decathlon Car Park "

Nobody Thought There Was a Problem !!

I Can See the Sky


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice report! I'm sure the people of Sheffield are used to peculiar characters wandering about in waders these days :D


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Not seen this come up for a while. You've got some good shots there.

Nothing like a bit of stooping to remind you the next day how much fun you had!
It killed my back stopping over but the strong flow of water in the channel and slippery base gave me no choice than put up with the pain, thanks for comment


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice report! I'm sure the people of Sheffield are used to peculiar characters wandering about in waders these days :D
Once you,ve walked a few miles you get used to the strange looks, and you have just experienced something they never will, thanks for comments


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ha ha...was looking into that sink hole yesterday. Good work there.
I got the sink hole photo the next day when I heard the local news, there were loads of security people on the roads and paths in to Decathlon, I suppose they did not expect anybody to climb through a hedge and walk up to the hole. got my photos and all hell broke loose, no problem I had my pics, thanks for comments