Saturday, 14 January 2017

When flooding stopped the trains


It might seem a last exhausted stab at stories about Chorlton and flooding but this one is interesting and set me off on one of those little historical adventures.

The picture is undated and could be anytime in the 20th century.

There are newspaper reports of flooding on the line in 1926 and 1954 and I rather think it might be the latter, given the style of the clothes of people on the platform, but I might be wrong.

But after “a day of heavy rains in the North West, the red (flooding imminent) signal was given” in the early hours of January 21st 1954* and from Salford along to Didsbury “the river was rolling into the densely populated area of Meadow Road” in Salford and shortly after 2 a.m. the Mersey was said to be pouring over its banks into large parts of the Didsbury and Northenden areas.”

And here we had “one of the most serious cases of flooding in the Manchester area,” as "Chorlton Brook overflowed in the late afternoon over the railway lines.  

The flood waters were thirty inches deep below the platforms and made the station impassable ....... an official at the station said  late last night that the water had started to rise shortly after the rush hour, until it became so deep that there was a danger of it reaching the fire boxes on the trains.”

So there you have, not I suspect the last flood story but enough for now.

Picture; from the Lloyd collection, extract from the Manchester Guardian January 21st 1954

*Manchester Guardian January 21st 1954

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