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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Northwich Floods

London Rd was closed in Northwich after the River Dane burst its banks yesterday, but has just reopened.  Unfortunately it sounds as if some properties may have been badly affected but so far as I know, thankfully no-one was injured. 

The town has suffered several floods during its history, as I discovered while researching Regency Cheshire. In July 1828, the River Weaver burst its banks, inundating shops in the lower part of Northwich and destroying salt merchant R.P. Hadfield’s warehouse. A house in Witton St fell down; many inhabitants who took refuge in the upper storeys of their homes were rescued by ladder from boats. No coach services could pass through the town.
Not just Northwich was affected; the flooding of the River Dane caused ‘tremendous devastation through the whole line of its course’; many small farmers were said to be ‘irretrievably ruined.’ (Chester Chronicle, 25 July 1828.)  Northwich also suffered devastating flooding within living memory in 1946.

The Trent & Mersey Canal was breached yesterday, too, near Dutton Locks - there's an amazing photo on the BBC website here.  We often enjoy walks along the canal between Acton Bridge and Dutton, but I guess it will take a while to clear up the mess.

Images:  Northwich floods, 1872. There were similar scenes in the floods of 1798, 1799, and 1828. Daily Graphic.
Steam tug Kerne near Acton Bridge.
Dutton Locks before the flooding. Both photos © Sue Wilkes.


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