Saturday, 23 March 2013


Newton Abbot floods!

19th Dec 1853, Newton Abbot suffers flooding.

Nov 14th 1894, the same happens.

Aug 6th 1938 - and yet again.

 During this year the summer had been very dry and as a result the river was low.  However as a result huge thunder storms known as the 'worst storm' in living memory caused flooding which damaged the town centre.  After this flood it was decided to build a culvert in order to allow the water from the river to pass under Newton Abbot.

Dec 27th 1979 - it's just after Christmas and Newton Abbot is hit badly by flooding;
flooding which  caused millions of pounds worth of damage to Newton Abbot.

So why did this happen?


Running through the town is a river: The River Lemon.
It is 16km long and its source is on the south east side of Dartmoor near Haytor.
The River Lemon joins with the River Sig and the Langworthy Brook at Sigford and passes the village of Bickington. Lower down it is joined by the Kestor Brook and then it  flows through the woods in Bradley Valley.  It is after this that it flows through Newton Abbot, passing through a 400 metre long tunnel below the town centre. Just below the town the river joins the River Teign near the head of its estuary.

So what happened was that there was too much water in the channel and the estuary, which allowed the culvert to overflow. 

In December 1979, the river burst its banks, yet again, and the pressure on South West Water to build a robust prevention scheme, increased.

Councillor Reg Wills was chairman of the Flood Action Team that lobbied for defence for Newton Abbot city centre, and said that the worthiness of the dam would not be overrated.
What a wise man he was!!

The agency's response was the construction of the Holbeam Dam well upstream and capable of holding back a sudden deluge and then releasing it slowly. The work was completed in 1982 and cost South West Water £628,000 and included the strengthening and raising of the river banks below Bradley Mill.
The Holbeam dam is able to hold back 900 million gallons of water up to 20 feet deep in a 34 acre storage area.

The Holbeam Dam

The dam's first major test came in December 1986. 
Although the ford between Bradley Barton and Ogwell was under five feet of water, the Lemon culvert in the town centre wasn't breached. 


Then, in December 1989 torrential rain led to an accumulation of more than 22 million gallons behind the dam and it was worse in February the following year with 40 million gallons safely contained.

Since the opening of the dam, Newton Abbot people can be well assured that, whenever they hear the heavens open, they will be safe from flooding.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Free speech ( for the moment!)

“You can’t really moan. Sometimes you think it would be nice if the tabloids didn’t dig up every skeleton and lie and smear and all those things, but on the other hand when they lie and smear and poke fun at other celebrities it gives me enormous delight. So I can’t be too hypocritical.”

I have to admit that I take an interest in politics. 
Goodness knows why! But I do.
Anyway, suffice to say that over the past few days I have been left wondering who exactly runs the country!
Hmmm...It must be Hugh Grant and his band of happy Hacked Off followers.

Don't get me wrong, I can't express my disgust, enough, at the phone hacking scandal. And the press ( or parts of the press) have only themselves to blame for the outcome. 

But let's face it, when we say 'the press', we don't mean all of the press. Out there are many excellent journalists, doing an honest day's work...we tend to forget that!  Yes, there have been unscrupulous journalists who caused all this...but they are far outweighed by the good ones. Don't forget that!

But that's not all that has to be considered.

I believe in the freedom of the press and I believe in free speech. 
And I somewhat shudder at the thought of where all this will lead....'Crossing the Rubicon' ...or call it what you will... None of it sits well with me. 
I have no problem with admitting that I hate the left and their desire to control people's lives! I do have a big problem with a so called 'liberal' joining forces with a leftie ! I can't get my head around that one!  'What are they afraid of?' I ask myself. I shudder to think that, if this is the shape of things to come, then heaven help us.  

And at the same time, I can't help thinking about the above quote  (from a very average actor) and the hypocrisies which exist in our country. Sometimes people go to great lengths to promote themselves. (And don't we all know a few like that? ) Nuff said.

Hugh Grant.... those are his words at the start of this blog post. 
His actions...well we all know about his grubby little dealings in the past, don't we?!  
And am I allowed to say that or am I not? Could it be that even bloggers could be targeted and gagged in the future! Heaven help me if that happens. 

I can only conclude that as a country, we need to watch it! 
Otherwise... Rubicon?..We won't have crossed it! We'll be up the flamin' Rubicon without a paddle!