Concerns over defences a year after Worksop’s flood misery

A year on from the disastrous floods which saw Worksop submerged in overflowing water from the River Ryton town people say nothing has been done to stop it happening again.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 4:45 pm

On November 7 last year businesses and homes were breached with waste-high water as the river burst its banks during heavy rains.

Twenty-five properties were evacuated while people in 65 others decided to stay despite being made aware of the risk.

Sheila Malbon, of Deuce Ladies Fashions, - whose shop was also flooded in 2007 - managed to keep her business going during the days following the catastrophe using a decorating table as a checkout taking cash-only payments.

Photo: Rachel Atkins
Photo: Rachel Atkins

Her card reader - along with over £2,000-worth of clothing - was left sodden after the sheer force of the torrent made its way through the shop, causing utter carnage.

However a year after, with damp still coming through the walls every morning from the previous two floods, the grandmother describes being ‘on edge’ every time it rains.

She said: “You’re thinking about it constantly - but even more so at this time of year when it gets wetter.

“I still get damp coming through the walls from the last two floods and I have the dehumidifier permanently on - sometimes I wonder if it will ever dry out.

Sheila Malbon, of Deuce Ladies Fashions, managed to keep her business afloat using a decorating table as a checkout taking cash-only payments

“But as far as I can see nothing has been done to improve the flood defences.”

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Roger Stocks, founder of Facebook group Worksop Independence, said the last time any serious floods works were undertaken was in 2008 - when the river was dredged.

He said: “Everything at the moment is focused on Covid but these problems have not gone away.

Photo: Rachel Atkins

“Now we’re coming up to that time of year again people’s anxiety levels are going through the roof – as well as lockdown people are worrying about flooding again.”

In February this year Bassetlaw leader Simon Greaves spoke of discussions with the Environment Agency to see old flood channels in ‘pinch point’ areas - such as Shelley Street - reopened.

He hoped the agency would back a project opening up the channels to see water quickly routed to flood plains in areas such as that on the other side of Bracebridge - saving the town from further flooding.

Bassetlaw leader Simon Greaves says old flood channels in ‘pinch point’ areas - such as Shelley Street - should be reopened

Though he admitted further dredging to the Ryton at the Canche had been delayed he added ‘it will be happening’.

He said: “I’ve received feedback from the Environment Agency that they agree work to see water running smoothly through the town needs to be done.

“The agency agrees that to manage flood water we need to use the natural topography of the area.

“Bracebridge is the obvious choice to ensure the town centre is not flooded again.”

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said he, along with Councillor Greaves and county council leader Kay Cutts would be meeting with the Environment Agency later this month.

Speaking about a £5.2 billion Government fund for flood defences he added: “There will be money for flooding in Bassetlaw - I think we have a fairly good case for some of the money.”

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith - photo by London Portrait Photographer

The Environment Agency has been contacted for comment.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.