Memories to come flooding back with tour of river defences

Blandford Town Square during the 1970's flooding.
Blandford Town Square during the 1970's flooding.

By Nicci Brown

Older readers may remember the floods in Blandford in the 1970s.

The only way to travel through Blandford, when it flooded, was by boat, as this photo of 1979 shows.

Blandford Museum has set up a working group to research the impact of the River Stour on the development of Blandford and the neighbouring villages.

Floods were an important part of this history. The building of the flood defences in the late 20th and early 21st centuries means that there have been no serious floods in recent years.

But how do these flood defences work?

On Thursday 28 October, the Stour Valley Group is hosting Henry Quinney, Assets and Maintenance Engagement Advisor with the Environment Agency, who will give a guided tour of the flood defences in Blandford.

It will start in the Crown Meadows, follow the river downstream, via the stop logs in the Ham Car Park, over the blue bridge and down to the Pimperne pumping station in the Marks and Spencer’s car park.

Henry is a very entertaining speaker, and he will cover the history of flooding in the area, the geology and natural history of the Stour Valley, as well as how the flood defences work.

The tour, starting 10am at the ticket machine in the lower Morrisons car park, free, and open to anyone who is interested in this topic, half term week has been chosen as it may be of particular interest to students who are studying history or geography or planning a career in engineering.

Anyone who would like to join it, wearing sensible clothing and footwear is asked to let Joy Reynolds know at or on 07971 525970 to be notified if it is cancelled due to weather conditions.

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