The Great Flood of 1968 Bristol Remembers Flooding Victims on 50th Anniversary

Bristol Flood Anniversary Events:

It’s fifty years since Bristol experienced a major floor which damaged 3000 homes and killed eight people.

The event which happened on 10 July 1968, became known as the Great Flood of 1968 as water swept through parts of Ashton, Bedminster, Brislington, St George and Stapleton.

After two months’ of rainfall fell in less than two days, water flooded from river banks, sweeping one man away on busy Parson Street and drowning a further seven people.

Looking back in memory, a pop-up exhibition to mark the 50 years since the disaster will be visiting local libraries in July and August, with talks and walks also taking place.

“Houses were flooded as high as the first floor,” Richard Stevens, aged 71, of St George says.

“The reflection of light on the water made it clearly visible. People were looking out of their bedroom windows. It was eerily quiet apart from the sound of thunder. On Parson Street a partly submerged car on the incline had just the boot and part of the roof poking out. I had to return and stay at Aylesbury Crescent for the night. There we watched the rest of the storm from the house and witnessed manhole covers at the top of the hill shoot up three or four feet up in to the air and then come clashing to the floor.”

Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste and Regulatory Services has the responsibility for flooding in Bristol. He says that working with partners over reducing flooding risks in the city is still ongoing.

“As we look back at such a significant event in Bristol’s history, we also need to look to the future and at how we could protect the city centre from tidal flooding in particular,” he says.

“The nearby Severn Estuary has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world and we have seen how it affects the River Avon, which runs through the city centre.

“We are currently working with our city partners on how we protect the city centre from flooding. This is part of a wider vision for revitalising Bristol’s waterside areas, which includes early plans for the Western Harbour, in order to help safeguard our heritage and sustainably promote future growth and regeneration in the city. Further details will be shared in due course.”

For more information about the pop-up event, visit: bristol.gov.uk/greatflood

Talks on the Great Flood will be held on:
Tuesday 10 July, 12.30pm-1.15pm, Bristol Central Library
Wednesday 11 July, 5.30pm-6.15pm, Southville Centre

Flood walk and talk, Bedminster:
Wednesday 11 July, 1pm-4.30pm
Commemorative flood walk along stretches of Pigeonhouse Stream and the River Malago, Bedminster. Contact: alec@bristolavonriverstrust.org

Pop-up exhibition in local libraries during July and August:
Bedminster Library – 9 July until 13 July
Bishopsworth Library – 16 July until 20 July
Southmead Library – 24 July until 27 July
Junction 3 Library – 30 July until 3 August
Fishponds Library – 6 August until 10 August
Central Library – 13 August – 17 August

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