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Local Events:

Whether they be celebration, natural phenomena or a dangerous episode, these events contibute to the history of our area. In this section we record the events which have occurred over time and more recently.

If it is notable then we would like to record it. If you have knowledge, images or information about such happenings, please let us know at info@ramehistorygroup



Rame Floods 2012

2012 was a year which brought misery to many thousands of households across the United Kingdom. Traditional ‘flooding’ spots continued to fare badly. In addition, many more towns and villages previously sheltered from flood and storm damage were to experience harsh treatment as a result of already saturated soil conditions (forcing increased run-off) and extreme localised rainfall .and almost

Millbrook and Kingsand/Cawsand were to be no exceptions.

Both in their own ways had grown ‘accustomed’ to either the ingress of wave blown swells funnelling up slipways and over sea defences. Thus wind-drifted spray found its way into coastal properties. Assisted by the predictable movement of the tide at ‘high water springs’ when low pressure prevailed, the low lying streets and houses of Millbrook were regularly flooded. (That is prior to the building of the Millbrook Lake Dam 1976.)

The newspaper headlines foretold and then reported the struggle of householders to protect and save their property. Only in a very few cases nationwide, was there serious threat of loss of life.

A look at a brief summary of local November and December rainfall, supplied by Helen Nance (Meteorologist and Rame Gig Club member), shows the weekly pattern of downfall as below:

Weekly totals:
week beginning: 19/11/2012 142.4mm
week beginning: 26/11/2012 10.8mm
week beginning: 3/12/2012 17.0mm
week beginning: 10/3/2012 45.4mm
week beginning: 17/12/2012 118.4mm
week beginning: 24/12/2012 47.8mm
week beginning: 31/12/2012 12.0mm

Monthly Totals:
November 2012 monthly total 199.2mm
December 2012 monthly total 240.8mm

Source:
www.plymouth.ac.uk/metnet for AWS data from the roof of Fitzroy building.

Annual rainfall totals for Cornwall are about 850-900 mm in the Scilly Isles. Most coastal areas of Cornwall and Devon have 900-1000 mm, but up to double this amount falls on upland such as Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Exmoor. Thus the two wettest weeks above account for 25% of the expected annual total and the two months make up about 30%.

For Millbrook, the flooding was exacerbated by the inability to open the Mill Dam sluices sufficiently to avoid water levels backing-up.

In Millbrook there were reports of up to 100 people from 40 properties needing to be evacuated.. A rest centre was set up in the village hall.

In anticipation of real hardship an emergency fund (£280 received from donations), was set up for households badly affected. Local councellors set up advice sessions to ensure the most needy were helped (Cawsand Bay Hotel and Millbrook Scout Hall)

from
http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

SOUTH EAST CORNWALL WORST HIT

A rest centre was set up in the Methodist Church, but businesses in West Street seemed to bear the brunt of the flooding – with a reported 5ft of water at their doors on Saturday night.

One shopkeeper said he felt “helpless” as about a foot of water flooded his store.

The Spar store’s Bill Dearing said: “There was nothing we could do. We have lost quite a few thousand pounds in stock. The computers on the post office counter were underwater and the freezers are ruined.”

The 61-year-old added that he gave away food from the freezers to the nearby Devon and Cornwall pub, where it was cooked for residents affected by the flooding.

Resident Roger Bews, who lives in Hounster Hill, said a nearby stream burst its banks. He described the water as “vicious” as friends helped to try to keep the flooding at bay. Mr Bews said a couple of inches flooded his back two rooms.
“We escaped fairly narrowly, really,” he added. “We have French doors and they held back the water fairly well.
“The water was so fierce it punched a hole in a neighbour’s wall.” Mr Bews thanked friends for their help as the community rallied to fight the flooding into the early hours.

Parish council chairman Frances Brennan said: “I have never seen anything like it in 20 years. The rain was coming out of the fields in torrents.” She said parish councillors and South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray were helping out until 1am.
Mrs Murray, born and bred in the village, said Millbrook used to flood regularly but had been protected since 1976 by flood defences. Water drains into a lake, which is controlled by sluice gates into the Tamar Estuary.
She added the gates could have been opened earlier during the heavy rain, but it took an Environment Agency worker an hour to arrive from Polperro to open them with a special key.

Mrs Murray said: “There was a massive amount of water running off the saturated ground. But once the gates were opened the water drained in about 15 minutes.” She said she had suggested to the agency that a trusted person such as a parish councillor could keep the key. The agency is now due to hold a meeting to discuss measures to prevent any further flooding.

But Mrs Murray said that leaving the gates open because of forecast bad weather could allow tides to come in.
Fellow resident Colyn Thomas said he too had warned of a looming flood after noticing silt building up in the hours leading up to the drama.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Our engineers and the fire service removed the sluice gates and drained the lake. We actually reduced the number of properties flooded. "We have never had to drain the lake before but it was felt necessary on Saturday night.”

Cornwall Council said a few properties in Cawsand were also flooded.

Engineers believe a manhole cover “popped” under water pressure.

Residents near a blocked culvert were also supplied with sandbags.

Locals were last night starting to raise cash online for those hit by flooding at tinyurl.com/ctngdze.

Read more:
http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/Flood-hit-pub-closed-months-Plymouth-rains/story-17425299-detail/story.html#ixzz2LtTImECU Follow us: @thisisplymouth on Twitter | thisisplymouth on Facebook

At the bottom of the of the page are slide shows of some of the flooding arranged by locality:
Millbrook Cawsand Kingsand Sandways

Please respect the copyright of the image creators. Please contact them with your requests to reproduce.

Thanks to: Irene Lentell, Helen Nance, Tricia Stubberfield, Joan Noakes, Linda Dunstone Chris Slater and Diamondknight Photograhy

There were too many landslides in the peninsula to reproduce them all here.

Certainly amoung the worst affected were the chalet plots of Sandways, north of Kingsand. The red soiled cliffs behind their land, seemingly secure, but now saturated and weighted by water, duly obeyed gravity and slid downwards covering in many cases large areas of where just a few months before, chalets had stood and wherein families had slept!!

Cliff paths were closed at Tregonhawke.

If you have more images of the flood and its effect, we would be very pleased to show them here. Please contact us.

The following images give some idea of the tons of soil and thousands of gallons of water involved

(click on [ ] symbol for large images)



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Fire at the 'Ship Inn' Garrett Street Cawsand, October 2013

More than a dozen years since the last pint was drawn in its historic bar, the derelict premises suddenly burst into flame on the evening of Saturday 5th October 2013 at around 1930 hrs. With many years junk mail lying on the floor and at least three broken panes in the ground floor windows there was an incident waiting to happen.

The following news report and images record the stages of the inferno. Only time will possibly reveal the cause of the blaze and the fate of the historic pub which claimed the distinction of having had Lord Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton amoungst its customers..................


Investigators say cause of Cawsand pub fire may not be known for days
Monday, October 07, 2013

INVESTIGATORS searching for the cause of a blaze which ripped through a derelict South East Cornwall pub have said they may not get an answer for several days.
At the height of the blaze on Saturday night, 65 firefighters were in attendance at the Old Ship Inn at Cawsand.
The fire, which started at about 7.30pm on Saturday, lit up the night sky above the village and left the derelict pub and two holiday cottages wrecked.
Villagers tried to tackle the blaze with buckets of water but were beaten back by the heat.
Police and fire chiefs said today that, due to the unsafe structure, the team are “unable to investigate further inside the property”.
“It is unlikely that the internal investigation will commence for a couple of days,” said a spokesman for Cornwall Fire and Rescue.
They added: “A joint police and fire investigation has commenced although no conclusions have been reached as to the possible cause of the fire.”
Torpoint fire station manager Derek Hunt was one of the first emergency serviceon the scene
He said: “The building was 100 per cent alight when we arrived.
“Flames were pouring out of the downstairs windows.”
The narrow streets of the village presented firefighters with a headache and threatened surrounding homes.
Fire crews tackled the blaze from the hillside above before going into the building.
About a dozen people were evacuated from the closest homes.
Sgt Ryan Canning from Devon and Cornwall Police said that most of the nearby properties were empty holiday homes.
“It might have been much worse at the height of summer,” he said.
Police officers forced their way into five empty properties nearby to allow firefighters to check that no one was trapped.
“It was a really dangerous situation because of the geography and the very old buildings, so it was quickly declared a major incident. Additional resources were brought in from South East Cornwall and Plymouth.
Sgt Canning said Cornwall Council, the British Red Cross and the police had put into action their emergency plan but the close-knit village had rallied around and taken care of those displaced.
Source: This is Cornwall Website 27.10.2013

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