Marlborough used to face flooding every three years in the past

Written by David Chandler on .


I was interested to read your report about Eric Gilbert’s comments on January 2014 being the wettest ever.

I think newer inhabitants would be surprised to hear that the centre of Marlborough flooded about every three years -- usually around this time of year -- in the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s.

For example, the Parade, Kennet Place, Town Mill, then the outdoor swimming pool, London Road from Tyre Services to the Bridge Garage, and George Lane from Skurrays to Pewsey Road on the north side.

Some places such as St Peter’s School, then Marlborough Grammar School, used to just escape.  The water in the Parade used to be deep enough for the fire brigade to have to get the engines away from the flooded area and avoid being trapped.

Stonebridge Meadows and Cooper’s Meadow, which then included Skurray’s Car Park, used to be completely submerged.

I always understood that the reason the town centre no longer flooded after the early 60’s was because extra water was extracted upstream and the floodwater was better managed down-stream at Newbury and Reading. Marlborough used to be sacrificed for the benefit of those towns.

Although the extra water extracted has caused problems in dry weather maybe the extraction by Thames Water might have some benefits!


David Chandler