'People in flood-hit areas around Northampton deserve better'
Letter to the editor
I have been reading with interest the reports in the Chronicle concerning the flooding around the area. Billing Aquadrome, and many others were badly affected. I was touched by the volunteers in the community who helped these people by supplying hot meals and items lost to the flood waters, well done everyone involved.
As an ex-firefighter, I’m very much aware of the heartbreak floods can cause.
I served at Towcester Fire Station for 27 years and also was on call at Daventry Fire Station during my working day.
This was when I was employed by Hancock and Lane Boat builders and steel fabricators in the town.
During my 27 years service we turned out to hundreds of flooding incidents around the local villages and towns. Some were one off jobs, but a few were repeat incidents which seemed to crop up every few years in the same areas.
Now to Easter 1998 and the floods in Northampton.
The Towcester appliance was turned out to help the Northampton crews with the ever serious situation developing in Far Cotton, when we arrived we were detailed to Ransome Road to help people who were flooded or in danger of being flooded, I recall knocking at a door to inform an elderly lady of the danger, and could we help to remove effects to the upstairs, to which she replied, if you think your coming in my house with those dirty boots on, think again.
We were then sent back to London Road to help with evacuations, two of us managed to grab a small inflatable boat and evacuated some children from a house near the cafe on London Road.
This image was captured by many film crews and it went viral around the world.
Later, we were deployed to St James to back up crews in that area of town.
So, in 27 years of service we at Towcester were deployed to Far Cotton and St James on flooding incidents quite a few times, and historically early in the century these same areas were under water.
What is the answer?
People in these areas of Northampton deserve better.