You are in [Events] [Charnham Street Floods, 1932]
Lying as it does in the valleys of both the rivers Kennet and Dun, flooding in Charnham Street used to be a frequent event until the middle of the 20th century. Families got used to "pumping-out" their premises and homes.
One well-recorded flood was on 16 May 1932 (Whit Monday), when Charnham Street was under several inches of water. Several of the pictures on this page show this particular flood - others are undated.
Other local floods:
It is said that flooding continued until the 1950s, but improved dredging of the rivers Kennet and Dun below Hungerford, and the extraction of water from the river Kennet at Axford resulting in lowering of the water-table at Hungerford has greatly reduced the risk of flooding.
One minor episode was reported in the NWN on 1 Nov 1979: "Charnham Street in Hungerford was partially flooded on Thursday morning following several hours of heavy rain. Pavements were awash with rainwater and motorists had to take great care as they went to work."
Hungerford is further protected from flooding by the continued preservation of its water meadows, especially Freeman's Marsh. The development of Charnham Park has reduced the area of protecting water-meadow on the Kennet, although much remains up-stream. There has certainly been no flooding since at least the early 1970s, and none occurred in July 2007 when Thatcham was so severely affected.
The Newbury Weekly News reported, on 16 Dec 1954, some further serious floods in Hungerford:
"Hungerford suffered more from flooding at the end of last week than any other place in this area.
The water meadows were like a lake and the canal rose several feet to submerge completely the long bridge at the rear of the Church.
So swollen was the Dunn that the water reached the top of the archway in Bridge Street.
Hungerford firemen were called out last Wednesday to pump away water from the Bear yard. They worked for two hours, found the floodwater coming in faster than they could get it taken away so they gave up. Carpets were taken up in the hotel as a precaution and the rear doors were barricaded with sandbags after water had started seeping into the kitchen.
During Thursday water began seeping up through the floor of Mr Arthur Chivers' cycle shop in Bridge Street and stock was removed as a precaution, while floodwater was about 4ins. deep in the Misses Freeman's kitchen at the rear of 6 Bridge Street.
Across the street, Mr and Mrs D Richards' cottage was flooded to a depth of over a foot and they were forced to evacuate with their two young children. They went to stay with a relative at Woodhay."