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 Floods in Cumbria 
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 Post subject: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:35 pm 
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I don't know if we have a thread on this subject, but it would be useful.

I have just started a piece on Floods in Appleby - very hard to research, but I have made a start, the results of which can be found at: http://www.mauldsmeaburnweather.co.uk/appleby.htm
just scroll down to virtually the bottom.

If you do know of any, things to include are:

dates/times
rainfall totals if known
number of properties flooded.
time banks breached and time of peak height
number of casualties
disruption caused.
worst since?

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:03 pm 
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Are you wanting info on floods in Appleby or is this thread for general flood history ? - sounds a good idea

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:28 pm 
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My own interest is Appleby and the surrounding area, however, for the forum and the 'historical importance' then my thoughts were that it would Cumbria wide and on a 'as you find the information basis'.

I'm aware of a really good article in BRO from either 1894/6/8 about floods in Keswick/Cockermouth and the commonly held belief of locals at the time that it was made worse by releasing water out of Thirlmere - who thought that this issue was only raised after Nov' 2009?
I will look it out again

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Kendal 1954 (Nov'/Dec') + 1898

there are some good photo's and accounts of these floods on the www.
Just search on 'floods in Kendal 1954/1898'

Attachment:
kendal.JPG
kendal.JPG [ 54.31 KiB | Viewed 875 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:56 pm 
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I would think old newspaper reports would be good for the dates and extent of the floods in the past but probably more drama than science!

The British Newspapers online can be searched on a pay per view basis. Or if anyone has a FindmyPast subscription they can be searched there. I do have a sub and will see what I can find. The newspaper dates go from the 18C to the 1940s or 1950s. Success will largely depend on if the publications we need are included in the data available.

Will be after the weekend now before I can do it.
Anne


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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:35 pm 
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The following is mainly taken from the C+W Herald re the floods of 20th August 1928 in Appleby, with my own intro'.
There is more in the paper, but my focus was Appleby.

1928 - An Appleby Inundation
In the report below on the floods of 1968 we read: 'The River Eden burst rose to its highest level since 1928.' A fairly typical comment made in a weather report that has to make a comparison to some other previous similar event - they are quite invaluable observations, but then cause more research - which is part of the enjoyment!
That research takes us first to the 'British Rainfall Guides', but looking at 1928, these floods could have been at anytime during the year, let's not forget that 1928 remains the wettest ever year in the complete Appleby data set, but the most likely date for these floods was the 20th August - and August was the wettest month of the wettest year and then finally a search of the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald confirms that belief.
In the British Rainfall Guide for that year we read: 'The total recorded at Appleby was 8.89 inches or 269% of the average and as much as 2.87 inches fell on the 20th at this station. The percentage map was in many respects similar to that of August 1927 when the fall at Appleby was 7.75 inches or 235% of the average.'
Unfortunately it does not mention that there was flooding in the town, but does say 'Flooding occurred at times, especially in the Border districts...' However, it was well reported in the C+W Herald, the account of which is:
'An Appleby Inundation - Houses and shops flooded.' Appleby and district suffered heavy damage by the flood on Monday night. About ten o'clock the River Eden began to rise and by midnight it had grown into a raging torrent. In Chapel Street, where the flood seemed to be worst, the tar macadam was ripped off the road by the force of the running water, and houses were flooded to the depth of four and five feet. The road on The Sands was flooded to an extent of six feet and when the wall which divides the bowling green and tennis courts from the road gave way it released an extra torrent of water which swept away the doors of Atkinson's garage opposite and carried away tins of petrol and oil. The damage to the garage is estimated at about £70. Considerable damage was of course done to the bowling green and tennis courts.
The Co-operative stores and Police Station were surrounded and the manager of the stores was marooned in the shop until morning. A young man just reached the Police Station in time, and found himself a prisoner until the dark swirling waters subsided. P.C. Macdonald who was to have reported at the Police Station at 10 p.m. found that he could not reach his goal and therefore was exempt from his night's duty.
Telephone communication was cut off and the flooded river extinguished the furnaces at the gasworks, thus cutting off the gas supply and making the rescuers' task more difficult. The garage of the King's Head hotel, like other premises, was flooded and one rescuer, clad in waders, failed to notice a submerged motor repair pit and to the horror of his fellows, he suddenly disappeared in the muddy depths. Luckily he was able to scramble out.
Also reported on the same page of the C+W Herald was:- 'COUNCIL AND RELIEF FOR THE SUFFERERS' - At the meeting of the Appleby Town Council on Wednesday night (22nd), Councillor Williamson said that, owing to the disastrous flood, there had been a great deal of suffering in the poorer parts of Appleby. He wondered if they, as a council, could do anything or set any machinery in motion that would relieve these distressed people. He thought some of those that had been lucky in the flood should help. Some people had suffered very badly and even if insured, he found that the insurance companies did not pay for damage to oil-cloth and wallpaper.
Alderman Chatfield said it was usual for the Mayor to deal with these sort of things and he thought the matter should be left until the return of the Mayor. Those matters needed time and consideration.
Councillor Parkin said the matter should be dealt with immediately. It was quite possible to deal with it in the absence of the Mayor.
Alderman Chatfield - "I propose we leave it until the Mayor returns."
Councillor Parkin - "It is a matter of urgency and I do not think there is any need for us to wait until the Mayor returns."
Councillor Williamson said it was a matter of urgency and he thought it could be dealt with by the Deputy Mayor. Alderman Rigg proposed that the Council discuss the question in committee and this was agreed to.
And it does not stop there as the C+W Herald also published a letter from a reader on the subject of the floods - what I find quite delightful about this letter is that it is from 'A. RATEPAYER' It reads:
'APPLEBY FLOOD VICTIMS' - Sir, Will you kindly allow me space in your valuable paper to ask who is the acting sanitary inspector for the county town of Appleby, also the medical officer for the county, seeing that neither of these officials have taken any action up to the time of writing to alleviate the disgusting conditions under which the victims of Monday night's unprecedented floods are having to live? Most, if not all the houses have no other sanitary convenience than earth closets and as these were flooded out and into the houses, the consequences to any right thinking person are very obvious. Where are our Councillors? Are they more concerned with the flooded bowling green than the inhabitants of the borough they represent? - Yours, etc.'
Clearly difficult times - but on a lighter note, that week at Appleby cinema you had the following choice of viewing: Ken Maynard with his wonder horse, 'Tarzan' - in the Overland stage' and on the 31st August and 1st September twice a night, Milton Sills in 'The Silent Lover'.
Finally, it should be made clear that this rainfall was not the result of a thunderstorm and was a 'normal' Atlantic depression', albeit for August, quite rare.

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Last edited by darrog on Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:49 pm 
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1928 floods.
In the same paper it mentions that Penrith did not flood, other places did, but the following was also there:

"Two rain gauge measurements are available, Laurel Bank 2.04 inch. He has recorded heavier falls on 3 other occasions: 2.77 in. 13th May 1911 (the day of a memorable thunderstorm when there was much flooding), 2.15 in. on 16th July 1914 and 15th Sept' 1918.
The second record is by Mr. Herbert Lester, Briar Cottage who measured 2.16" - slightly more than Mr. Sinclair's.
Mr. Lester's records continue those taken by his father, the late Mr. Thomas Lester and the altter began gauging in 1866.
Monday's measurement has only once been exceeded in the 62 years - 2.19 in. on 29th October 1903."

FLOODING AT CARLISLE

the Eden was in flood at Carlisle. The water level at Eden bridge was, however, 2ft 10 in below that of the record flood.
The rain gauge at the cemetery had 1.94 in. The cenotaph in Rickerby Park was surrounded by the flood."


And it is because of these kind of gems as to why I (us?) do the research.
Ok I knew what years/months I wanted to look at once at the library, but I was only in there for no more than 20 mins and had a 7yr old daughter with me, who really enjoyed loading and using the micro-fiche thingy to view the papers.

Prior to the library we had been to see 'Alvin and the Chipmunks - the road trip' - I'd recommend it!!

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:20 pm 
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So do I take that to mean you do have access to historical newspapers, Darren? I'm happy to do some lookups for Appleby if you need me to, otherwise I'll use my time elsewhere.
Anne


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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:35 am 
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Anne - sorry, should have replied.

No I don't have access, apart from as today, going into the library and using their micro-fiche/film of all the old copies.

If you can find anything on Appleby, I would be greatly appreciative - what you have access to, does it have a search facility to make it easier for you, or is it a case of trawling?

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 Post subject: Re: Floods in Cumbria
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:46 pm 
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It does have a search and I should be able to narrow it down. It can be a bit hit and miss because it relies on optical character recognition. But stories are repeated over several papers so we should find something. Will get onto it during next week. We're about to meet out 3 potential step grandchildren just now!!!

Anne


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