A journey home
through Cumbria in the floods of December 2015
An account by Ed Lloyd Hughes (Mad
the snippet about
Martin Bennett's Old
Green River Band
almost getting stranded in Barrow in Furness on Saturday night. Here
is the story. The band set off for Manchester from Roa Island about
midnight, wind howling, rain lashing, having been assured by Cumbria
Fuzz that the A590 was clear as far as the M6. Naturally the road
was closed 3 miles short of the motorway where a sodden policeman
informed the members of the orchestra that "there was no way out of
the county tonight" Thanking the constable through gritted
teeth Martin Bennett roared into the unremitting maelstrom his
steely gaze piercing the darkness, coldly determined to battle on.
Wiser counsel prevailed however and he got back in the band bus.
Abandoning the A590 for the 592 they arrived in Windermere having
weaved around abandoned cars, collapsed walls, assorted debris and a
great deal of water only to be confronted by another closed road,
this time without a doughty constable in attendance. They ploughed
on only to dive into a 4 foot deep flood from which they were able
to reverse, but not before collecting several gallons of Windermere
water in the footwells of the bus. A bit more judicious use of a Tom
Tom satnav along a ½ mile unpaved lane got the slightly damp
ensemble through Windermere town and off towards Kendal. The
intention being to cross the river Kent and make for the M6. Again
floods and abandoned cars littered the road until Kendal was reached
and the river was crossed without difficulty.
Here was relief, here was time to celebrate and congratulate each
other on the triumph of will over adversity.....the next 20 minutes
or so would see the easy ride home on the M6.
a roundabout by Kendal station. This is where the river had taken
temporary occupation in the form of a raging torrent. Up a side
street was a fire engine wedged against a row of houses, abandoned
and semi submerged. Not out of trouble yet then, but wait. Here
stood a solitary figure, in waterproof gear surveying the scene. "
Where ye going?" "Manchester" "Where ye come from.....Roa island?
Bloody 'ell, you've done well!"
Five minutes later the band were on their way along the A65 bound
for the M6 thanks to this hero who guided the whimperingly grateful
crew of 6 old codgers through the town and over the river. A few
more floods, numerous abandoned vehicles, found the band bus on the
M6 and away, as a stream of flashing blue lights on the Northbound
carriageway told of deep distress.