Where do I start?!

It’s been a real 10 days of strangeness here in Hebden Bridge (ok, that’s more than a week, I know). A week ago on Friday my daughter and also myself were invited, amongst others at Central Street School to meet Prince Charles as he came to Hebden Bridge to show support for the many local businesses in town affected by the floods.

Lily meets prince charles at central street school 6th july 2012

When Lily met the Prince

Obviously I didn’t manage to get a picture of when we were talking to him, but we were part of a clip on Calendar news about the event, which was very exciting!

Clip from Calendar News

As you can see, unfortunately Lily was behind a boy called Sam, so you only get a glimpse of her on there. I was wearing my wellies and a red dress with little grey ladies with umbrellas on. Probably only me that noticed, but it made me smile!

The wellies were very appropriate because at that very time the rain was coming down again, and it delayed Prince Charles by one and a half hours as the roads closed behind him from Walsden. I went home afterwards and had to come back less than an hour later was both my children’s schools were sent home early in case of more flooding again!

We got away with it on Friday – just, but then on Monday, after a promising start to the day there was a freak cloudburst over Hebden Bridge – 50mm of rain in an hour – which caused another massive flood. This time many shops in the main part of town were affected again, just as they were getting back on their feet. This time, too, the shear amount of rain falling onto saturated land meant that the run off from the hills caused a different kind of flooding.

I went downstairs and saw my yard flooding (nothing special, this has happened before) but when I looked up, a torrent of brown water was flooding down our steps at the top of our garden, from up the hill. I have never been so scared! Both my children’s schools then texted as they were being evacuated AGAIN! I didn’t know what to do, and really feared that my house would be filled with water. Our neighbour told me they couldn’t drive down the road as it had turned into a river, and I really didn’t know if I could get my kids. I was unable to call the schools, because obviously many parents were trying to do the same thing.

After going out and trying to divert the river that was pouring down the gardens of all the houses in my row with a neighbour, we finally realised that the water would find a way around the houses at the side before it came up to the back door – it got as high as an inch below my step! The poor houses at the bottom of the hill were not so lucky, and tonnes of gravel from my hill was deposited outside Co-Op, making the road impassable.

Suffice to say, we were ok, just. Many were not so lucky, as you can see here. This is the flood that Gary managed to drive home in.

Many people have wanted to help affected homes and businesses, and a group called Hebden Spirit were formed at the end of last week to raise funds for affected businesses. You can find the Hebden Spirit Facebook Page here where there are details of donations being given by artists Nationwide for a fundraising auction. Please like and share the page to promote the cause which is ‘Celebrating the spirit of Hebden Bridge, recognising the strength of local busineses and encouraging everyone to our town’

The best help people can give is to come and visit your favourite day out destination, Hebden Bridge again, plenty of shops are open again, and by keeping our tourist trade open, the rest of the town can get over our terrible floods again.

If you want to check if your favourite shop is open, you can use the fantastic website that has been developed to keep people up to date with the latest news http://hebdenrising.appspot.com/shop .

If you are an artist who would like to donate a piece of work for our auction, you can find all the details here


Rachel x

20th July 2012

Rachel Lucie Johns

Hi! I'm Rachel, a jewellery designer-maker & nature photographer. My work is inspired by the gorgeous countryside around West Yorkshire & Art Deco design. This blog is where I share my creative life and inspiration. find out more ...