View Full Version : River Rea, Birmingham. Report 15/05/2010

17-05-2010, 09:20 PM
The weather is good, and I'm in Birmingham, which can only mean one thing. I met up with an acquaintance known only as Mr.Orange and we made our way to the Rea. We started close to the end of Calthorpe Park. I only started taking pics part way down, I'll update this thread with some of Mr.Orange's photos (which are way better than mine) when he puts them online.

This small RBP with channeled invert is a shrinker.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4054/4616297796_b5d6f5cb80.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297796/)

Continuing down through the channel...
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4017/4616297800_eb9823b496.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297800/)

Much of the channel appears to be below the water table, and there's plenty of iron in the ground:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4616297810_4c4a416d1c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297810/)

"Cactus pipes"
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4616297814_5873a4f5ab.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297814/)

Nature is slowly reclaiming the Rea now that many of the buildings are derelict and unmaintained.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4616297818_8237ebe367.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297818/)

Spotted this recently built six-foot plastic pipe. Don't know what the source of flow is (see below) but it stinks like a butcher's bin on a hot day.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3360/4616313840_1e1f9a91ca.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313840/)

The pipe is short and abruptly ends with wooden boards. It would appear that it is still under construction.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4616297824_f1d7505008.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616297824/)

There was a big streak of CSO spew from a smaller pipe shortly after this, which I slipped on my arse while crossing :fail: so this piece of graf a short way down was rather appropriate.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3357/4616313848_8dd4751787.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313848/)

Further down, many of the "bridges" are actually buildings built across the channel. The opening to the left leads to a stoopy concrete box-section tunnel.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4616313852_85dbb96773.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313852/)

WTF rope swings under a building
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3392/4616313856_db64df1a7f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313856/)

Mr.Orange lightpainting the arches in the long tunnel (and trying not to get his camera wet)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4616313866_8ed8f6ab85.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313866/)

Tried some lightpainting, or at least as much lightpainting as I could manage with a maglite and a three second exposure. This is one of three parallel tunnels at this point, the water only flows in the central tunnel at normal flow levels.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4068/4616313872_b3107b2c5a.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4616313872/)

There's an interesting double-arch bridge just before the waterslide:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4063/4615712331_2c93a4a3f4.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712331/)

Looking out of a larger tunnel further downstream. This tunnel is a concrete arch with a brick invert.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3336/4615712457_389f2bf60e.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712457/)

It's a short tunnel with a grated infall:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3380/4615712363_8fb658990b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712363/)

The swamp of skank that lies beyond the infall is more grim than my use of flash:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4028/4615712417_2315f5d304.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712417/)

The tunnel is home to Birmingham Blob. Long-lost cousin of Rednought Blob.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4615712443_e09cd00515.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712443/)

Another shot of the outfall. This junction was as far as we went on this trip as it was getting late and we were both knackered.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3321/4615712471_b0261b7ded.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615712471/)

We left the channel at the canal overflow (I think that's what it is). We almost had to turn around and go back as there was a nasty steel fence - the sharp spike topped variety that's no doubt responsible for more than one lost bollock surrounding the whole area, but Mr.Orange accidentally nudged one section looking for a way out, and the whole piece just fell over :w00t: We put the fence panel back up and headed back along the towpath.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3317/4615718585_35dc672a93.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41717334@N05/4615718585/)

After this we headed into town for a much needed curry. This definitely needs a return trip to get to the end, and to investigate the many large pipes that we skipped this time, largely due to our thighs burning from doing the poop shuffle in the first RCP (no, that's not what it sounds like, it's where you walk on the sides of the pipe to keep out of the slippery flow). All in all, an awesome day out!

17-05-2010, 09:25 PM
Good stuff, I need to get myself back to Birmingham soon :)

17-05-2010, 10:44 PM
I love that shot with 'Mr Orange'. Nice bit of motion blur, and it's underground so it makes me happier

18-05-2010, 06:59 AM
That is a top report Stanley - really well written and great shots too. Just goes to show what you can do with a 3 second exposure. I like this a lot. :thumb

23-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Some of Mr.Orange's pics:

The first pipe we hit was this 6' RCP
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3373/4625888803_42216ba1c3.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4625888803/)

It leads to this junction. The small pipe appears to be a CSO outfall while the larger pipe looks like a storm drain. The air was surprisingly fresh in here too with 20.9% oxygen throughout.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3321/4625885091_5fa883fe50.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4625885091/)

Lots of cool graff down there
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3407/4626506854_1d52aa2ca5.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4626506854/)

Stoopage in the shrinker
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4024/4626496616_b2f055ea28.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4626496616/)

These openings connect the three parallel tunnels of the longest underground section.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3305/4626535226_43c91a24f3.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4626535226/)

Mmmm fresh...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3399/4625938291_fe909de1a9.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangejon/4625938291/)

23-05-2010, 12:50 PM
Nice shots :)

23-05-2010, 10:55 PM
Have not done this site but wouldn't mind it. Loving the graffiti. :thumb

23-05-2010, 10:58 PM
Nicely lit shots you two!! Great report :thumb

24-05-2010, 10:28 AM
Pretty impressive - liking the cactus pipes, double arches and graffiti: far more variety than your average drain report. :thumb

25-05-2010, 11:48 PM
Some great bits of graff there,nice shots:thumb.... dont mean to be rude or ignorant but is it me or what?:confused: but you dont seem to see many splores coming out of B/gham way!!!:

Indeed - Birmingham is a pretty large place, and must require some impressive drains and sewers to stay dry - more underground stuff to see, and there was no shortage of derelict buildings lining the Rea. I hope they get seen at least once before they disappear.