A flood of memories

It’s cold l know but thankfully the rain has stopped for now and the level of the River Avon has reduced somewhat.

However, the recent deluge and flood-plain inundations, has prompted our local photographer Rob Coles to search through his files and sort out some images from the floods that hit Bath more than sixty years ago.

Rob writes:

“With the river running high I thought I would look out some of my photos of the 1960 floods.  I also checked the past flood levels that are beautifully carved under the Ha’penny bridge. 

Standing on the towpath, about three feet above the present high river level,it was unnerving to see that the record flood level of 15th November 1894 was way, way above my head with the 1960 and 1947 levels not far below.

There is another thing. I noticed that the towpath handrail under the Ha’penny bridge was completely free of pigeon dropping.  Further downstream the handrail on the lovely cast iron railing Brunel put at the edge of his balconied towpath under his skew bridge, that were recently restored, is thick with pigeon poo. 

I was told many years ago that pigeons do not roost under the Ha’penny bridge as they don’t like the magnetic field or some such from the heavy electric cable that supplies the south of Bath and passes under the bridge.  The handrail evidence appears to confirm this.

Another flood marker that goes unnoticed is on the wall of St James’ cemetery, Lower Bristol Road,  just east of the lodge house where my grandparents lived. 

I remember, when very young, seeing them standing a few steps up from the bottom of their stairs surveying the brown waters of the River Avon in their living room.”

Rugby ground at the Rec
The old bridge.
Pulteney Bridge
Milk for Lower Bristol Road.

Thanks for the visuals Rob. Amazing to see so much of Bath underwater flood water.