Marking 10 years since devastating flood in Morpeth

Flooding in Morpeth on September 6, 2008.
Flooding in Morpeth on September 6, 2008.

A weekend of events is being planned for early next month to mark the 10-year anniversary of the major flood in Morpeth.

As well as information about what happened on September 6, 2008 – more than 1,000 residential and business properties were damaged as a result of the River Wansbeck bursting its banks and surface water flooding – there will be details of its aftermath, including the impact upon the community and those most badly affected.

The events will take place in Morpeth Town Hall. On Saturday, September 8, there will be an evening of stories, poetry, music and drama.

The audience will also be addressed by some of those affected by the flood and who played their part in providing support and practical help over the ensuing weeks and months.

On Sunday, September 9, there will be a photographic exhibition of people’s pictures of the flood.

Hive Community Radio will also be present to record people’s experiences of and reflections upon the flood.

Barbara Ross, one of the organisers, said: “This was a life-changing experience for so many people in our community and we would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon what happened and what can be learned from it.

“It’s part of our history and it’s also an opportunity to further acknowledge the groups and individuals who provided support.

“We would like to hear from people who are willing to share their stories and photographs.”

Fellow organiser Jan Clarke, who had to leave her home in the Middle Greens area on September 6, 2008, added: “Gathering my thoughts, it all seems quite surreal.

“I don’t think I accepted it was going to happen until the water came over the flood wall at the end of Bennett’s Walk.

“Everybody who experienced that day has their story. We would love to hear and preserve as many as possible as part of our town’s heritage.

“It happened, it was unimaginably awful, frightening and heart-breaking – yet as a community we did emerge from it, bowed but unbroken.

“We hope our stories will serve as a reminder of what can happen, what has happened and what must never happen again.

“No story is too small or unimportant, please get in touch.”

Anyone wishing to learn more or to share their story can call Barbara on 07718 989566 or email morpethflood2008heritage@gmail.com