Having seen Morpeth’s MP Ian Lavery on television claiming that Morpeth, when flooded, did not get near the help promised to the southern counties is, I am afraid, not quite right.
The River Wansbeck is 22 miles long from Sweethope Lough to Cambois.
The first dozen miles or so are in the Wannie Hills fields until Mitford where the River Font joins the Wansbeck.
I have covered tens of thousands of miles along river paths/bridle paths from three miles up from Mitford all the way through Morpeth, Bothal Woods, Wansbeck Park to Sandy Bay opposite Cambois.
Apart from low-lying areas of Morpeth, ie, Stannners/Mitord Road, bottom of Oldgate, Matheson Gardens, Baysland and Middle Greens, there are very few properties through to Cambois that are affected.
In Morpeth, just over 1,000 homes and shops were flooded. Add on another 100 (bottom end of Stakeford) and we have approximately 1,100-1,200.
In 1963, after the big freeze, Morpeth was flooded, a year or so later they built the large concrete walls at Middle Greens and Oliver’s Mill to Baysland and raised the banking from St George’s Church to the old gas works.
Two years later, they altered the walls to put more sluice gates to take away the Cotting, Tanners and another burn whose name escapes me. Then 2008, the big flood, the Labour government agreed to flood relief but nothing was started. Two years later, Labour lost the election.
2012, another flood, relief work finally started in 2013 and is still ongoing, costed at £23million, it is now up to £25million. Add on the earlier costs and we are approaching £27-28million (rightly so), spent on flood relief for one town. Now whether it is government or council money, £27million for one town is right and fair.
Incidentally, when I lived in Newgate Street, my house, along with 40/50 others on Friday, September 13, 1968, was flooded by a freak deluge to the Cotting Burn, the high end of Morpeth flooded!
J ALDER, Morpeth