Borough Engineer Arthur Wallis was responsible for dealing with the aftermath of the devastating rainstorm foods of 18/19 July, 1955.

This is an extract from his report: “Watery Lane [Upwey] South of the railway arch is the scene of much damage.

The railway embankment held back the water to a great depth and it poured through the arch scouring out a hole in the road about 12 feet deep and 25 yards long by 15 yards wide, and thereafter the road and River were just one mass of rock and stones. This, of course, was the scene of the subsequent unfortunate tragedy [a young boy drowned while cycling home SM], and the later accident to a motor lorry. The area had to be cordoned off by coils of’Danert’ barbed wire. On Tuesday the water was still too high to get plant in, but on Wednesday a new diversion was cut to get the water away. Since then clearance has commenced, the main stream has been diverted to the mill race and several pumps are keeping the water level under control.As the sewer was washed out of the bottom of the hole it is necessary to drain the hole to effect repairs. To do this, a timber trough 3 ft wide by 1 ft. 6’ deep and 60 ft. long is being constructed to carry a stream across the whole so that the pumps can keep pace with the flow of water. British Railways will be contributing to the cost of the works as they are responsible for the culvert under the bridge. It will be some weeks before this section of the work is complete. On one side of the bridge, the bungalows were up to their eaves in water, and one bungalow on the other side was submerged nearly to its ridge. “ (Bring back Borough Engineers!)

Stuart Morris

Weston Road