Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009
1965 floods on archive news film
Floods in Worcester 1965
Traffic and public transport ground to a halt

The floods of 1965 are not the worst on record, but archive film from British Pathe News reveals how badly they affected Worcester.

At the height of the floods, the River Severn was 15 feet 10 inches (4.82m) above its normal level.

The floods struck in December, following exceptionally heavy rain in Wales.

The Worcester Evening News of the time reported that at one point the River Severn was a mile wide.

Floods on film

Flooding in Worcester 1965
Houses and businesses were badly affected

Film made at the time by British Pathe News is available on their website .

It shows the flood water almost at the top of the arches of the road bridge in the city centre.

The Severn View Hotel is also shown, with floodwater as high as the ground floor windows.

Watch the film

Bad year

The floods of December 1965 brought to an end a year of extreme weather.

In March the Worcester Evening News was carrying the headline "Traffic chaos as drifts pile 12 feet high".

Their edition of 8 March showed people skiing down Fish Hill, near Broadway.

In September the paper was reporting how torrential rain was "aggravating an already grim harvest situation."

In November their headline read "Frost, Fog and possibly snow", as temperatures were forecast to plummet.

Flooding in Worcester 1965
The was some particularly extreme weather in 1965

It must have been a relief for the readers to see a quote from a City Waterworks spokesman, on 29 November, that there was "no possibility of flooding in the immediate future."

The floods hit with a vengeance a week later, with the paper reporting that the River Severn was 11 feet 9 inches (3.35m) above its normal level.

By Friday 10 December, a River Severn Authority figure was quoted as saying the situation was "fairly serious" - though not likely to be as bad as the 1947 floods.

This was probably scant consolation to the residents and businesses on Hylton Road, Waverley Street, Diglis Avenue, South Quay, and many more places, that were underwater.

There was three feet of water in Newport Street, where the bus station was at the time.

The flood peaked on Monday 13 December, with the water 15 feet 10 inches (4.82m) above its normal level.



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