Leeds nostalgia: floods take toll in September 1946

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SEVENTY years ago on this day, Yorkshire was subjected to flooding, which leads one to question whether much has really changed today.

Yorkshire Evening Post reporters commented on the scenes of destruction, with waters reaching depths of 4ft.

Among the worst affected areas was Bradford

Scenes included a wall of water, sweeping into Town Hall Square and transforming it into a lake. Is it fair to wonder whether this provided inspiration for the City Park mirror pool?

The flooding did not end there. “Hundreds of pounds’ worth of wines, spirits and beer in the cellars of Crowling’s Wine Lodge, Market Street, were submerged. Champagne which was floating about in cases was salvaged.

In scenes reminiscent of the 2015 Boxing Day floods, Hebden Bridge did not escape the waters. Yet another lake appeared as both the Hebden and Calder overflowed.

“Cars and lorries were used to get people away from the worst flooded parts of Hebden Bridge”, said the Reporters.

According to the YEP, a Bradford builder surveying the flooded areas estimated the damange costs to be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, possibly even reaching £1m. The remnants of the Yorkshire harvest also suffered from the heavy rain.

In other news, a big speed-up on the LMS prompted wonder at the new travel times between Leeds and London.

The Leeds-London Express, though not reaching pre-war speeds, would in most cases afford much quicker journeys than at any period since 1939.

According to the YEP: “From Leeds 4hr 13 min (by new express at 9.45am). From Sheffield 3hr 18 min, would be the new times.”

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