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The 1960 Devon Flood Story

August 27, 2016

By Paul Homewood




“Bloke down the pub” sent me this book, which has apparently been knocking around his family archives.

The 32-page booklet was published both to commemorate some of the worst floods in Devon’s history, but also to raise funds for the relief fund, as the Introduction explains:




I have taken a few screenshots to give some of the flavour.












Some of the personal accounts add depth to the story, such as this one:




Of course, flood defences have improved enormously over the years, but what is striking about many of these contemporary accounts is the extent to which people simply took events in their stride and got on with life. Remember that this was only fifteen years after the end of the war, which had brought about infinitely more suffering.

The other thing that hits home is the remarkable community effort that followed. This paragraph sums it up neatly:




Can anybody imagine today’s breed of councillors doing this?

Then we have this heart warming account:




Throughout, people kept their sense of humour:














People realised at the time that floods were natural events, that had happened in the past and would happen again in the future:



  1. Oliver K. Manuel permalink
    August 27, 2016 12:25 pm

    For humanity to awaken to reality (as Einstein did in 1905 when he reported E = mc^2), we must admit that Earth, and every atom and life in it, have always been invisibly connected to their powerful creator and sustainer at the pulsar core of the Sun.

    Cosmic rays from that pulsar induce charge separation in air. Nucleation of water droplets on these ion pairs produce rain, lightening and thunder as frequent reminders of the power that actually controls Earth’s climate and our destiny:

    • Oliver K. Manuel permalink
      August 27, 2016 12:51 pm

      Humanity is enclosed in a matrix of deceit, as a tiny ship of fools floating in the vast seas of “space weather.”

  2. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 28, 2016 4:12 pm

    A more phlegmatic generation.

  3. mike fowle permalink
    August 28, 2016 6:48 pm

    Long after the 1953 floods (because he never told me himself) I learned that my father had gone to Canvey Island where we had relatives, and seen bodies floating in the street.

  4. August 29, 2016 12:17 pm

    This is similar to the catastrophic floods in West Virginia on June 23 and the recent floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Massive amounts of rainfall within a short span. Eleven inches in the mountains of WV and 31 inches in Baton Rouge over 2 days. The Federal government is more adept with rules, regulations and platitudes than real help. But West Virginians pitched in to help and still are. Church groups from within and without the State have been there. Communities have banded together forming commities to pool resources and people for the most efficient use and distribution (that leaves FEMA sucking their thumbs). Almost 2 months later another huge rain event strikes Louisiana. Immediately, out comes the “Cajun Navy” from across the state to rescue people in the Baton Rouge area. It is the people of the swamps and bayous with their fairly flat bottomed fishing boats and they just arrive when a disaster occurs. The Federal government entities tried to keep them out, but that didn’t go well for them. The “Cajun Navy” commenced to rescue people and deliver supplies to others. Donald Trump came in with his 18-wheelers loaded with supplies and helped hand them out. He also gave a sizeable personal check to a church group to help with their recovery work. Obama stayed on the golf course at Martha’s Vineyard, too busy putting to even say anything. And FEMA?? They must be busy grooming Obama’s golf courses.

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