Monday, November 23, 2009


-->It is a terrible thing to have your home flooded, and your belongings destroyed. It is a terrible thing when one of those working to save people’s lives is killed. And of course it all looks like a disaster of Biblical proportions … if you believe the press. And nothing like this has ever happened before … if you believe the press. Hell, has no one read any history books, or even any history novels? This is Britain, it rains here, it floods here, and it always has. Go on the Internet and check up on some history for goodness sake!

Cockermouth – Rivers Cocker and Derwent


Cockermouth at the confluence of t
he Rivers Derwent and Cocker has been designated a ‘gem’ town by the Council for British Archaeology to be preserved as part of the National Heritage. It has an extensive conservation area within the town and numerous listed buildings/structures. The Flood Warning Area covers an urban area of 0.77 square kilometres. Number of Properties at Risk in FWA 574

Flooding History

Earliest recorded flooding was in 1761, since then flooding has occurred in 1771, 1852, 1874, 1918, 1931, 1932, 1938, 1966, 1999 and 2005. (and now)

In 1938 flooding under Cocker Bridge washed away a section of sewer a
nd Barrell Brewery Bridge collapsed (Waterloo Bridge stands there now). The town centre and Main Street were badly affected. It was claimed that trout and even a large pike were caught on the High Street.
On 7th and 8 th January 2005, although the River Cocker was in spate with a return period of 1 in 25 years, the main source of flooding was the overtopping of the defences by the River Derwent with a return period estimated at 1 in 100 years.
... Flooding then extended onto the northern half of the Main Street and then covered the whole of the Main Street to a depth of 100mm. Parts of Waterloo Street suffered flooding up to 900mm deep. 113 properties flooded in the
Waterloo and Main Street areas and 2 properties from Tom Rudd Beck (Main River). In the Gote area, which is undefended, initial flooding occurred to a low level area of Sandair from a rising water table. Shortly after this the area in front of the allotment gardens started to flood, initially from highway drainage connected to the river. River levels continued to rise and reached the rear of Gote Road, flowing through the properties onto Gote Road. At peak river levels a flow route was established via the entrance to the cricket ground down Gote Road to the low point. At roughly the same time a flow route was established to the river from the north end of Gote Road. Some 34 properties suffered internal flooding with the maximum flood depth on the road being some 900mm

Note the parts I’ve highlighted. These things are cyclical and the only reason they are getting worse in Britain (if they are) is because we’ve concreted over vast swathes of this country and the water has no where to soak away. But come on now – this sort of thing, historically – was not uncommon:

flood in 1869:



and how about


Michael Stone said...

Couldn't agree more. It's the same mentality that brings us the same headlines every winter: "Arctic conditions bring chaos to British roads!"

Um, you mean it snowed last night? And that's headline news?

It's in response to our 'demand' for news 24/7.

Neal Asher said...

Usually it's about one inch of snow that brings chaos. Then in the summer we get warned to put on our factor 2 million so we won't melt into a pile of skin cancer tumors. It's all rather pathetic.

Jebel Krong said...

yeah the snow always makes me laugh - bearing in mind in New York they generally get about 4 feet of the stuff, in this country one inch will stop all the trains...

Inchy said...

At the end of my street is a newish (5 years or so) housing estate where all the stupid people live. You know, the people with two cars on the drive, a Mini/Beetle for the wife, an Audi/Merc/BMW for hubby and cupboards full of Tesco Value beans because they spent all their money trying to look rich.
According to my local newspaper, the residents of this upmarket estate are currently involved in a legal dispute with the estate builder because the cost of home insurance for them has soared in recent years. It's soared because the estate is built on a flood plain and it took the builder 3 years to "sort" the drainage, but with the flooding that has become the norm in the past few years, their costs have increased dramatically.

The funny thing is that almost all of the residents have moved to my town from further afield and are not what I'd call indigenous. All us locals are of the same opinion: "Bugger that, I remember when it used to be marshland".

The lawns are tiny, there's hardly any large grassed areas and it's the world capital of monoblock.
It'll all end in tears.

Neal Asher said...

Inchy, that's how it happens. So, when there's a claim on the news that so-and-so place never experienced floods like this ever before (must be AGW) it's really because, well, never before did this place have a fifty acre estate a few miles upstream. Or maybe twenty miles of motorway nearby dumping its surface water into a river.

Alex Cull said...

From Wikipedia: "On 30 January 1607 the Bristol Channel floods resulted in the drowning of an estimated 2,000 or more people, with houses and villages swept away, an estimated 200 square miles of farmland inundated and livestock destroyed, wrecking the local economy along the coasts of the Bristol Channel, in what was then the Kingdom of England."

Now that's what I call a serious flood.

Neal Asher said...

Ah Alex, it serves them right what with their coal-fired power stations, SUVs, lack of recycling, aeroplanes...