Observant villagers may have noticed that the diggers working in the field between the railway viaduct and the Triangle Bridge have now departed. This work was to restore the two flood channels, which were originally dug in 1997 but have silted up since. Litttlehempston has always flooded, but the situation must have been made much worse by the arrival of the railway in 1848, when a huge amount of land was taken out of the flood plain for the embankments. Older inhabitants may recall the bad old days, when the bottled-up river and brook caused the roads across the village to be impassable for days on end. In the early 1990s, villagers petitioned the District Council for a flood relief scheme, and this was put in in 1997. It has worked well since, and although the road still floods sometimes, it is nothing like it used to be, as the water can now escape more quickly down the flood channels. We hope that the new works will be of benefit to everyone.
PLEA TO DRIVERS TRYING TO NEGOTIATE THE FLOODS! Please be careful. 6 cars were lost the winter before last. If you decide to go through – and the deepest point is at the bottom of Ackrells Hill – please drive very slowly. The wash from vehicles, especially large ones, causes bigger bow waves than the drivers realise, and this damages the stone walls and houses in the affected area. And definitely no joy-riding to see how big a splash you can make -yes, this happened last winter!
Thanks to Jenny Galton-Fenzi for this bit of history.