History

The River Hull flows from it’s origins in the wolds chalk streams through Driffield where it becomes part of the Driffield navigation, entering the navigation through the West Beck or Corps landing branch. The Driffield navigation runs broadly parallel to West Beck from Hempholme lock to the riverhead in Driffield, but sadly is not yet fully navigable all the way despite ongoing efforts to re-open it. The Driffield navigation was built to allow goods to be transported to and from Driffield via the river Hull in Humber Keels, several of which are still to be seen on the river. Our boats have made the voyage from Beverley to Driffield and back several times, but this trip can be difficult especially in summer when the weed grows and water levels drop.

In the 1960’s the council replaced a swing bridge at Wansford with a fixed, low level concrete bridge and this is the main impediment to navigation. Hopefully a solution and funding will be found to allow this to be returned to operation. Canoes and small open boats can still get underneath.

‘Syntan’ was used to transport hides to and from Beverley and is now based in the town. ‘Comrade’ is preserved as a sailing Keel and is usually in Beverley for the winter, leaving to sail on the Humber for the summer months.

The river from Beverley Beck passes the old shipyard in Beverley where many trawlers and other vessels were built, and today small commercial vessels and river craft are still being built. The quayside at the old shipyard is lined with barges, many of which are undergoing restoration and conversion following the end of their working lives. North of Beverley the river passes the nature reserve at Pulfin bog, where sand was dug out of the now flooded sandpit and taken away by barge. The remains of old barges can still be seen in Captain Kettles cut at low water, now almost completely submerged in mud. The river passes the old Leven canal entrance, now disused but a haven for wildlife.