Today marks an anniversary of an historic flood occurring in the city of London.
In 1928, a combination of factors, including heavy snowfall the previous month, a high spring tide and unusually heavy rainfall, led to the River Thames rising to an unprecedented level.
The height of the torrent was around 1am, so many people were still in their beds when the water hit. A number of people drowned in their low lying and basement flats as their escape routes were blocked with water, and many more were made homeless by the floods.
The streets looked like new rivers as the water swirled along, to depths of up to four feet in places.
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben found themselves with pools in their basements, almost a foot deep.
The Tower of London saw it’s moat full of water once again, for the first time in around 80 years, the water covering the steps of traitor’s gate for the first time in living memory.
This flood, along with the smaller flooding in 1958/9 led to the building of the Thames barrier in the early 70’s, and no further large scale flooding has been suffered in the city.
Personally, the thought of the sight of the Tower’s moat full once again, catches my imagination. I visited the Tower a few years ago, when the poppy display was in place and I was amazed at the size of the moat. The volume of water that would be needed to fill it would be enormous. Makes me wonder how it looked back when it was built and the moat was first filled.