Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tonbridge Floods 1968

Yesterday I searched my home office knowing that I had an old newspaper of the last floods in town, and eventually came across the old, yellowed and slightly fragile copy of a special flood disaster edition of the 1968 Tonbridge Advertiser. It made fascinating reading, not only for the devastating flood images and reports, but also for the adverts and notices the paper carried in the 60's. Here are some of the images of those floods that prompted the building of the Leigh flood barrier.

It's very sad that Tonbridge has flooded again, and my heart goes out to the people affected. A previous post (below) carries a link to a Community Facebook page if you can offer help to local flood victims.

Thin line to safety - Residents of Avebury Avenue
Avebury Avenue - former Rugby Club and Drill Hall
Supplies and food being transferred by poles - Avebury Avenue
Tonbridge High Street
Cyclists on The Botany before the floods rose - Ritz Cinema is showing Camelot


  1. The first photo doesn't show residents of Avebury Avenue - I knew two of the women in it and they lived down Brook Street. Also the location is the junction where New Wharf Road joins the High Street (the corner where COOK is now) and the line was tied between the two posts for the no-entry signs because the flow of water was very strong. Incidentally this was exactly the same spot where water was streaming across the High Street late on Christmas Eve 2013.

    1. It does show photos of residents of Avebury avenue, the woman at the front of the line is my granmother who with my granfather were cartakers at the drill hall.

  2. Incidentally, the reason that Barden Road and the High Street flooded over Christmas was only because when the site of the Rugby Club and Drill Hall in Avebury Avenue was redeveloped a few years ago, the developers removed an earth bund that formed part of the 1950s flood defences for the town. Back in the 1970s I saw river levels as high as they were over Christmas and there was no water running into Barden Road or the High Street then. The misery of flooded homes over Christmas was caused by bureaucratic negligence and incompetence in allowing the flood defences to be degraded.