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I finished Memories of the Storm this morning while having breakfast. I enjoyed this book so much! Now I want to read more about what happens with Clio and Jonah and Hester’s move from Bridge House.
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So do I Denise, so do I!
This book brought home Memories of my own of a devastating experience during the 1952 Lynmouth Flood. We were camping at Oare, just up the lane from Oare Church with 20 Guides, my Mother being our very competent leader On Friday afternoon the sky became very dark and threatening with flashes of purple and yellow, rain was heavy and persistent. We took shelter in the tents but the water was bubbling up through the ground soaking our ground sheets and towels. The stream at the end of the field was becoming a torrent so in her wisdom Capt decided to evacuate to higher ground and shelter. We took only our sleeping bags and trudged up the lane with water well up to the tops of legs and more like a river. We came to a wooden bridge at Copper Wood with a rushing stream which led to a Farm cottage and barn. 4 of the younger girls were put in the cottage with 2 teenagers as their parents were away, the rest of us went up in the loft above the terrified horses. All we had was a packet of digestives and a bag of apples which were rationed out. During the night the cottage started to flood quickly, the girls were led up the stairs through a window with water lapping at their heels to join us up in the barn. A frighteningly stormy night followed with noise of the devastation all around us. In the morning we ventured outside to see that the wooden bridge had been totally washed away, replaced by debris of trees, rocks and boulders. The cottage and surrounding land flooded.To reach our camp site the only way was to climb up and across the wooded ridge, which seemed to take forever, girls crying for mums. On reaching the field we could see way below us from up on the ridge, it appeared intact with all the surrounding fields completely flooded. We only learned the of extent of the disaster later.
I found this absolutely fascinating – many thanks, Pam. Where Pam was camping was about 870 feet above sea level and the Oare Water at that level has a fairly small catchment are. Even so at the height of the flood (what else can you call it?)) the water was filling the valley, quite flat here, and building up enough to flood that cottage. Imagine what it would have been like as the waters both the East Lyn (of which Oare Water is a tributary) and the West Lyn joined forces and funnelled down the narrow cleave that the waters over the years have created and so to Lynmouth where so many people dies and so much property was damaged.
If you have any further memories of that night, Pam, please share them and if anyone else was there, please tell us what you can remember.
Thank you Rodney. So taken up with Oare again am rereading Memories of the Storm. There is always something enlighteningly new to take in with Marcia’s brilliant writing.Exmoor is a wonderful place with the rivers and streams.[ so thanks for the information].
Unbelievable things happened on that fateful night, when we had to evacuate, we had left Jelly to set hanging over the stream in a wooden safe with muslin covering it, on our return to the camp field the stream now a torrent but our Jellies were still hanging there!
A wedding ring was found years later sticking up in the ground having been lost by the farmers wife during the flood.
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