This has been an odd week weatherwise. One of those nasty storms has hit the UK bringing widespread rain and floods. Unfortunately Tewkesbury has a reputation for floods and frankly I was concerned. On Thursday a flood warning was issued for the town:
I live right on top of the Carrant Brook and it tends to rise and fall dependent on a number of factors, and when I moved into my current flat in 2015 the brook flooded and consequently flooded the field outside.
The flood warnings were pretty grim, especially for what is known as “the Severn Ham” aka “Tewkesbury Ham” aka “The Ham”, and the area between the Mill Avon and the Severn. You can see that area in the image below between the two rivers on the left.
However, if the Avon floods it tends to back up the Carrant Brook which then floods the area where I stay and in 2007 my flat was under a metre of water. Consequently I was concerned because the rain that was falling in Wales would eventually make its way downstream and that would affect the Avon/Severn and possibly me. The long and the short of it is that I stayed at home on Friday, my bag packed and my eye on the field outside. Fortunately it never came to an evacuation situation, although next week more rain is forecast.
This morning has been cold and overcast/sunny/windy and everything in-between and I decided to head down to the Ham and have a look at the levels in this area.
I took the following image on Friday morning looking towards the Avon lock. Normally it looks like this:
But on Friday it looked like this:
The cream building on the right hand side of the image is interesting because it has a high water mark on it from the floods in 2007.
The sign is also quite interesting:
This morning I crossed the bridge over the Mill Avon and took the following two images:
I then walked along the pathway towards the Ham. There was standing water in a large portion of it and the lower bridge at the Abbey Mill was impassable.
There are two mills on this stretch of water. Healings Mill is derelict and abandoned but cannot be demolished because it is a listed building. That closed in 2006 and is now home to thousands of pigeons and other birds. I suspect they are hoping it will fall down on its own although I believe there are plans to convert it into yuppie pads.
Downstream from Healings is the old Abbey Mill which closed in 1921, it is now apartments and that was where I was heading. I have explored around this area when the water level was lower.
Just next to the building is the Victoria Gardens and it too is under water:
I was not able to photograph the other side of the mill as I left my wellies at home but these images below were taken in April 2016 from the Victoria Gardens.
Actually the area around the mill is very pretty and I should really go explore around there when the water subsides and we get some summer again. Hopefully normality will creep into our weather and the levels will drop so that I can rest easy again. Unfortunately I get antsy when it rains and when you consider how quickly a town can be inundated you can see why. Things at the moment are not as bad as they were in 2007 and I have seen the field behind where I live much deeper under water than it is now, but it doesn’t take much to tip that balance. Maybe its time to invest in that boat I have always wanted.
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