Post Reply
User avatar
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 67505
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley »


I’m writing this on the weekend when storm Dennis hit us giving us the second seriously wet weekend in a row. As I write many people are suffering being flooded out yet again and I have enormous sympathy for them. Forgive me for re-visiting one of my favourite subjects but it is perhaps time we revisited Watery Matters.
We are lucky in Barlick of course, we are on the watershed that separates the Ribble and Aire catchment areas, Barlick streams drain to the Ribble and Salterforth and Earby head for the River Aire. This means that we only have to deal with the run-off from the high ground of Whitemoor and don’t have to cope with water from other catchment areas upstream which is of course the problem with the present flood hot spots. Despite this, in July 1932 Barlick suffered after an extreme event on Whitemoor which sent down torrents of water into the town. Harold Duxbury watched the flood in Butts from the vantage point of his family’s workshop on Commercial Street which was high enough to be safe. He graphically described the amount of water that came down, high enough to submerge the bottom floors of the stables below. He also mentioned lumps of ice as big as your fist floating in the water, a sure sign in July of an extreme thunderstorm on the moor. We can learn lessons from that experience.
My poor quality picture this week illustrates what the problem was. A pile of wicker weft skeps at Ouzledale Mill where they blocked the culvert, the same thing happened at Clough Mill downstream and that was what caused the water to find its way into Walmsgate and as far up as Calf Hall Shed. At the time Bancroft Shed was initially blamed for allowing the debris to wash downstream but this was a canard, they hadn’t got any skeps or boxes outside. The source was what used to be Wild’s Transport yard just above Bancroft Shed in the field where skeps and boxes were stored outside.
All that is water under the bridge but I go over it again to suggest that it could be a good idea to invest some time and effort in ensuring that our watercourses are as clear of rubbish as possible. On the whole we have adequate modern trash screens on the choke points in the drainage system, the culverts, the key is maintenance.
This isn’t aimed at the authorities alone, we can all do our bit by keeping our own corner rubbish free and encouraging others to do the same. Are your grids and drains choked with leaves and rubbish? Have you reported blocked gully grates to the Council? These are their responsibility and I am sorry to say that outsourcing cleaning them and setting targets isn’t cutting it. There are far too many blocked and what we need is a wet weather warden who goes out in weather like this when the problems become obvious. Remember 1932! We must take note of experience.


Skeps washed down to Ouzledale in 1932.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!
Post Reply

Return to “Stanley's View”