Derwent Dam in Derbyshire famous for its links with the Dam Busters story but more of that later. We passed by here today while we were out for a walk. With the reservoir being full water was flowing over the top of Derwent Dam.
It wasn’t a particularly nice day for walking; or photography for that matter! The light was poor, the weather was cold with intermittent rain and drizzle. However, I did get to see the water flowing over the top of the dam, which made the trip worthwhile.
Derwent Dam dams the southern end on the Derwent Reservoir; and forms the middle reservoir in this chain of three reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley in the northeast of Derbyshire, England.
The highest reservoir, Howden above and to the north of Derwent, has a similar dam and was also overflowing during our visit. The lowest reservoir, Ladybower, was also full and is well known for it’s two characteristic plug/glory holes. Unfortunately the reservoir wasn’t quite full enough to be overflowing with any vigor into these.
The day was so grey and the photo’s didn’t have much colour to work with so I’ve worked in Black and White for these images, which suits both the day and the nature of the images. I quite like the graphic nature of the image above. I would have liked to have frozen the water action even further to add more sharpness to the water however with the very low light level it wasn’t possible to push my shutter-speed any further.
This image above shows one of the towers at Howden Dam; This dams the valley at the top of Derwent Reservoir. There was just enough of a gap through the trees to get this shot along the dam.
There is a good track that runs up the around the reservoirs which is well used by walkers and cyclists. This makes it possible to walk/cycle a loop of the reservoirs with a fairly easy loop of about 16 miles.
The Dam Busters
During the Second World War the reservoir was used by pilots of the 617 Squadron for practicing the low-level flights. There were needed for Operation Chastise (known as the “Dam Busters” raids), due to its similarity to the German dams.
There is a commemorative plaque to 617 Squadron on the dam. If you’re interested in finding out more, one of the towers on the dam houses the Derwent Valley Museum. The exhibition, owned and run by Vic Hallam, tells the tale of Squadron 617 and its training for Operation Chastise. There is also has a display on the history of the Derwent valley and the lost villages of Derwent and Ashopton.
Occasional Battle of Britain Memorial flypasts at the reservoir are staged to commemorate the events during the war. In September 2014, a unique and never to be repeated flypast took place with the two remaining airworthy Lancasters, one from the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight, and one from Canada, flying three passes in formation. (Source: Wikipedia)