Floods - July 1968: (see
also our gallery of flood images)
The worst rainstorm in over half a century
occurred this year with more than five inches of rain
falling on some areas in less than 24 hours.
The summer had been hot and the fields had
formed a hard crust. On the 10th July, the first few drops fell and a storm that
started in Brittany France and spread across the whole of southern England came
to a climax in the Bristol and north Somerset areas. Brooks and streams became
rivers and rivers became lakes as the torrents of floodwater quickly burst their
banks and flowed over the surrounding low lying land.
Before the storm abated, seven people were
to lose their lives, bridges were destroyed, dams were demolished and hundreds
of homes and factories were flooded. Siston Brook, which rises above St. Annes
pool, very quickly burst its banks and flooding occurred near Little Brook Farm,
Goose Green. More flooding occurred around the Midland Spinner. The water was so
high in the lower skittle alley, a chair became lodged in the rafters of the
The Warmley Brook, rising beyond Carsons
Factory, created a lake that reached from the bridge in Station Road, Kingswood, to well beyond
the bridge in Anchor Road. The fields along Tenniscourt Road were flooded and
collected debris created a further blockage to the bridge in Deanery Road,
making that road impassable.
At Warmley, Crown Gardens had become a
collecting point for the deluge which was unable to drain into the brook. That
night the ambulance service was called out to rescue frightened elderly people
from their bungalows. The village constable, P.C. Doug Hardiman, was almost
swept away as he waded through waist deep water.
The two tributaries now combined by the
Championís Summerhouse in Tower Road North and the caravan park, being on the
bed of Championís thirteen acre lake, once again became awash. Some of the
caravan dwellers had to be rescued by rowing boats as their homes were
Further downstream the rushing tide of
water had picked up a massive tree trunk and, acting like a battering ram, had
charged into the dam wall at Willsbridge Mill, breaching the banks and releasing
hundreds of thousands of gallons of muddy water. The water tore down the valley
in a tidal wave, swamping cars and low lying homes to the depth of several
As a permanent reminder of this occasion an
inscribed brass plate was erected at the Midland Spinner by landlord, Cyril
Hemmings, giving the date and flood level. The plate is opposite the door and
about 5' above the floor.