Well ok, to be fair I’m not a top Scottish blogger, so that’s not quite true. And ok, the Yorkshire flooding didn’t directly “hit” me, but it definitely affected me as you’ll see.
It’s not often that the little village in which I live – Silsden – makes the national news, but yesterday it did for all the wrong reasons (once again). Firstly a colleague mentioned after lunch that he’d heard on the radio that a factory had been evacuated in Silsden due to flooding. My first thought was: “there’s a factory in Silsden?” and then I tried to work out where it was. A couple of friends and my father (who can text like a pro) texted me to say the news was on the BBC. I found some video taken on a mobile phone of the flooding but couldn’t make out exactly where it was to see if it was near my house or not. Eventually a friend pointed me at some photos of the flooding so I could see for myself what was going on.
To my dismay I realised that the factory was literally a stone’s throw from my garden and the canal that’s along the road and above my house looked particularly full (I thought canals never flooded?). From the pictures I could tell that the tiny stream that runs behind some houses near me was a raging torrent and the only road to my house was blocked by rather a lot of water. Since I could still ping my home server and that I was reassuringly far away from the river I concluded that my house was still there and the chances of it being flooded were very slim. At least that’s what I kept telling myself, I knew I’d find out later.
Since the trains from Leeds (where my good lady works) were cancelled I gallantly offered to drive over and pick her up. This took 2 hours where it normally takes 30 minutes. Since lots of roads were closed all the traffic in Yorkshire seemed to be redirected to where I was going. After over 3 hours we had to conclude that we weren’t getting home any time soon – we stopped at the in-laws to wait for the traffic to die down and try again. This we did an hour or two later only to discover that – gasp – all roads to Silsden were closed! For the first time in my life I couldn’t get home, although staying at the in-laws was no hardship.
I consoled myself with the knowledge that I’d get home in the morning, get my camera out and capture some quality photos of the flooding and devastation to make a really interesting article. But guess what? All the water had receded! Grrrrr. Fortunately though none of the houses around me were affected by the water and aside from some water getting into the basements of some of the shops on the high street and the flooding at the factory, everything ended happily.
Two interesting facts about Silsden:
- The first survivor of the infamous Yorkshire Ripper escaped his clutches in…. That’s right, Silsden! Unknown to me at the time one of my previous banner photos for this site was taken in the exact spot where Tracy Browne jumped over the fence to escape.
- The largest onion ever grown – weighing in at 10lb 14oz – was grown in… You guessed it, Silsden by local Vincent Throup! (I told you Yorkshire folk like their food).
Oh yes, and I guess the other interesting thing is that I live there. Still!