Somerset's floods of 2012 branded worst in living memory

Flooding on the Wellington Relief Road.

Flooding on the Wellington Relief Road.

First published in Taunton Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

FLOODS brought fresh misery to Somerset this Christmas as villagers labelled 2012 the worst in living memory.

Met Office figures out this week show this year is set to be one of the wettest in Somerset since records began over 100 years ago.

After the latest rain, hundreds of passengers were stranded at Taunton Railway Station on Saturday night after floods wiped out train services south-west of Taunton.

Long queues for replacement bus services stretched along the platforms as frustrated Christmas travellers tried to get home.

The A361 at Burrowbridge is still closed after it was flooded just four days after it re-opened. 

A van driver was rescued on Christmas Eve after getting stuck in flood water in New Lane, North Curry, while another man was rescued from his car in Comeytrowe Lane, Taunton, on Christmas morning.

Staff at the Bridge Inn in Dulverton had to evacuate customers after the River Barle burst its banks on Saturday and a fallen tree diverted flood water into nearby properties.

Rachel McDonald, who owns the pub with husband Kenny, said: “The bar was submerged under three feet of muddy water.

“We ran upstairs with our kids, but could hear things moving around and breaking downstairs.”

The latest downpour on already sodden ground has prompted many people to declare 2012 the worst flooding year in living memory.

Stoke St Gregory parish council chairman Heather Venn said: “We’ve never known it as bad and my husband has been here 50 years.

“Most of the ground this year has been underwater. It’s a big concern for the farming community and residents who have had their homes flooded.”

Taunton Deane Cricket Club faced a £3,000 repair bill after its artificial net and outfield were damaged in the summer floods.

Club chairman Jason Squire said: “It was a busy year for us and a memorable one in terms of the flooding. We came through it well and it showed how as a club we can pull together.”

The village of Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels near Langport, was surrounded by water after the River Parrett burst its banks.

Two farmers provided a shuttle service for people to reach the other side of the flood so they could get to work or shop.

Resident Jim Woodbourne, who has lived in the village for 73 years, said the water level was the highest he had ever seen.

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