Friday, 31 August 2007

flood strategy



1. Full topographical survey of the existing flood bunds, gates, cemetery, area of land north of W. Morris farm, Kens lower yard and surrounding areas to oddas chapel. Also as many recorded marks of water levels as possible. The main drain from Aeroplane cottage to pump station and outfall. The estimated cost I would anticipate would be around £1500 to £2000. Time scale 2 weeks.

2. Subject to water levels we then need to decide the level of protection required on a long term level. We could decide to go for 2007 flood level plus 600mm of freeboard protection this would probably add about 800mm to a 1m to the levels. ( Alternatively we could model a 1 in 1000 year event plus 5mm per annum for global warming. This is currently standard practise in Wales under Tan 15 which is far more stringent than the English PPS25 legislation.

3. Appoint an Engineering Consultant to carry out a full engineering design including cross-sections and full specification for the bunding, gate upgrades and any new retaining structures. This would include Geotechnical advice on the suitability of soil properties for flood defences.
In addition the design of new drains and new pumping station to adequately drain the village from the low point T junction adjacent Aeroplane cottage in times of local flooding.

I understand some walking of the banks and discussion has taken place but I would propose a pure engineering solution followed by discussion and negotiations with the various land owners.

This process could be 4-8 weeks. Cost to be investigated. £2500-£5000?

What may be useful would be some land registry searches to establish full legal ownership of the lands in question.

4. Incorporated into the full design would be proposals for protection to Odda House (Wards) and Abbots Court (Lords).

This may need some modelling as I understand the EA may look for some flood volume compensation. This would require the release of the “Lower Severn Hecras model” from the EA. This may or may not require some changing to the north-north eastern area to compensate for the south- south western area for example. This would require the appointment of a hydrologist but I have good contacts with ex EA experience including involvement in the study of the upper and lower Severn catchments.

Timescale 3-4 weeks Cost? £4000 to £8000?

5. This then needs to be driven by a Planning application with the full support of the local political system to deliver an approved solution.
The EA and all other bodies like English Heritage are consulties to the planning system and can be over ruled by the planning committee!

This process could take 3 months cost?

The general principle for Archaeology is as long as it is buried over and not disturbed then it is acceptable. I have many test cases in my development background including places like Cirencester town centre.

I recognise that we need to maintain good relations with the EA and other bodies to ease the whole process.

6. Secure the funding through whatever bodies including the EA is possible to action the engineering works.

7. Action engineering works in accordance with an agreed programme/ timetable. (As soon as possible as we are busily progressing works on our property’s but this will all be in vane if we fail to protect our village.)

8. Long term maintenance:- We need to decide on a suitable vehicle or authority to maintain the “comprehensive flood protection works” We do not want a fragmented disjointed maintenance regime. Normally the EA would maintain the flood defence works i.e. the bunds gates and any other retaining structure and the local authority Tewkesbury BC maintain the drains and pumping station. As we have learnt that the maintenance works to date have been very poor.
I propose we have a 6 to 12 month reporting procedure with feedback to the committee for information so contingency’s can be actioned.

meeting 30th august


Minutes of the 30th August 2007 Meeting held at ACC Pavilion at 7.30 pm

Attendance: A Leeke, B Leeke, W Morris, T Morris, K Samuel, W Phelps, B Checkley.
Apologies: J Rutter

1. Minutes of the DPCC Meeting of 22nd August agreed as a true record.
2. Matters arising:
2.1 A. Leeke is in liaison with the Charity Commissioners.
2.2 Payments to J Cutter & M Smith. Invoices now submitted to the Yorks Fire Service. A Schedule of Costs has been requested from the Samuel & Morris families for work done and to be done on the banks.
2.3 The ‘Five Families’ (Baker, Crowley, Fay, Lord & Ward) problems discussed with the EA on August 23rd and will be covered in A Leeke’s report of the visit. (Please also see 3.1 below).
2.4 Potential clay supply, Keyway Ltd to visit the village on 31st August.
2.5 Grants. Glos Community Foundation has declined to offer us a grant. Rotary Club application now pending for £3000.
2.6 The request for donations from each household to be considered latter.
3. B Checkley’s ‘Deerhurst Flood Protection Strategy’ (attached to these Minutes) was debated in some depth. Actions resulting:
3.1 B Checkley’s contacts to carry out a full topographical survey. A DPCC meeting will then be held to determine the level of protection required and consider appointing a consultant to draw up a full engineering design. Whether or not the family homes of Baker, Lord & Ward can be incorporated into the design will be determined when flood volume compensation and costs are more fully understood.
3.2 A Leeke to write to A Perry (E.A) confirming the points determined on the August 23rd visit.
3.3 A Leeke to contact Church House (Jonathan Mackenzie-Jarvis ?) to understand the Diocesan/ Heritage viewpoints regarding the churchyard and disturbing consecrated ground.
3.4 W Morris to mark up a village drawing with all known drains, ditches and outlets for B Checkley’s survey.
3.5 B Leeke to liase with M Calway regarding potential grant aid. For the above 3.1 survey and design phases, a worst case sum of £15,000 will be required (i.e. should we appoint an hydrologist).
4. W Phelps’s village survey: copies have been distributed requesting completion and return to him. A Leeke requested an additional map feature and will supply it for circulation.
5. W Phelps volunteered to build up a web site for the village.
6. Good House Keeping publication. It was agreed to explore the potential benefits of having a reporter visit the village to write a sympathetic article (and give a charitable donation ?).

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

stage 2 begins

stage 2: the mobile home is delivered with impressive dexterity from the drivers to get it into small home. the village has taken the look of a well heeled gipsies' camp!

the humidifiers hum all day and night in the annexe like some angry humming birds! the water extracted from the walls and floors is amazing and the water needs emptying at least once a day. the timetable for getting action is like a peice of string! how long? More will be known after the surveyors report comes in but the initial estimate of 6-9 months looks pretty sound.

Friday, 24 August 2007


Olly boats around at about 6ft above floor level

the people carrier carrying a lot of water

view from Hally's garage roof

hally's house

Hally find a good use for his waders.

good drying weather!

Debs forgets to take the washing in.

Hally's House

Thursday, 23 August 2007

walk round 18th august - report by Andrew Leeke

Deerhurst Community Preservation (photos/ maps not attached!)

Meeting held on Saturday 18th August 2007

Present: Andrew Leeke
Brian Leeke
Ken Samuel
Will Morris
Tim Morris
Bill Phelps
Tansy Leeke

Object: Initial Analysis of Flood Defence Shortfall by reference to the attached plan provided by Tim Morris.

1. The flood defences commence at the southern end of the village, adjoining Ken Samuel’s slurry pit. In order to prevent the flood outflanking the bank and coming through Ken’s buildings, it may be necessary to extrapolate the bank in a southerly direction towards the telegraph pole in the middle of Ken’s field.
2. At points A and B there is an existing access from the lane into Ken’s buildings, which will form part of the new defence at this point. We discussed moving the existing floodgate to act as a new floodgate, but defence at points A and B will only be needed in the event of a very high flood, and Ken suggested that new stanks constructed here would only need to be of a relatively short height in order to achieve the overall protection height.
3. At point C is the floodgate into the village, which proved to have the following problems:3.1 It is woefully short of the existing flood bank height, and nowhere near the necessary raised height, which may involve an additional 0.8m.3.2. During the flood it was observed, in the centre, to have bowed inwards by at least 3”.It may well be that this gate is designed to flex. The possible solution discussed was to leave the floodgate in place where it does a perfectly adequate job in a normal nuisance flood, but to construct recesses for a bracing RSJ to be installed in the event of a large flood. Further, in the event of a large flood, the existing floodgate requires a much higher defence. This will entail the construction of new stanks behind the existing gate to receive a modern light-weight stank system up to the full height of the extended banks.

4. Between points C and D the flood bank is partly on Pippa Leeke’s garden and partly on Ken Samuel’s land. The flood bank appears perfectly sound and requires only to be raised to the new height.
5. From point D to E the bank is on Ken Samuel’s land. Ken does not want clay from elsewhere to be deposited on his land while he has clay of his own which he wants to have moved and which should be sufficient for the purpose, or part of the purpose, with the rest being made up from the clay from elsewhere. It would be best to incorporate, if possible, this requirement into the arrangement with ‘Keyway’ (or some other commercial enterprise) so that there is an integrity of construction of the whole bank by the same organisation.The bank next to the Springett’s corner is a problem area, especially as there is no access for a JCB. The bank at this point is particularly robust, however, and should not prove a problem. At point E – the flood bank passes onto Reg Ward’s land and forms the access to his house and to Peter Lord’s house. Peter Lord has expressed the intention of raising his house, and the curtilage around it, by three feet. This would mean that raising the flood bank at this point would simply match in. The opinion was expressed that it would not be possible to take a bank around Abbots’ Court and Odda’s Chapel, or to protect David Baker’s house, but this is a matter for further discussion.
6. At point F is the floodgate protecting the entrance from the west of the village. This is set up higher than the floodgate at point C, but is, nonetheless, again woefully short and the same arrangement needs to be put in place as at point C.
7. Between point F and the church is, possibly, the weakest point on the flood defence system. The village sits on sand and gravel, and, therefore, as the flood rises the pressure increases and causes seepage under the clay banks. There are no clay banks in the churchyard, and in the July flood there was both overtopping and considerable seepage between point F and the church.This is a very sensitive area, as there will be considerable opposition to disturbance of consecrated ground. A temporary flood bank was made during the flood, and this is, for the moment, simply being tidied between F and the Wellingtonia tree, but overtopping of the churchyard was taking place almost up to the church. This will have to be addressed. There are two problems. Firstly, the water has physically to be stopped from over-topping and, secondly, the seepage has, if possible, to be impeded. The options are:7.1. A clay bank to be imposed over the churchyard on the existing land.7.2 The pathway (since, hopefully, there are no graves thereunder) may be excavated to a considerable depth and backfilled with clay, and the pathway itself elevated to the new level so that it forms part of the flood bank.While acknowledging that this is sensitive area, and that the Church Authorities and English Heritage will wish to impose conditions, it is premature to consider the matter any further pending the appropriate engineering advice. There will be an engineering solution to maximise flood protection at this point and, until we know that, and how it impacts upon the churchyard, it is not right to raise the matter with the interested parties. The object of Deerhurst Community Preservation must be to achieve the best engineering solution, and this situation (the necessity to carry out works on consecrated ground) is not without precedent. At present, seepage through the churchyard is dealt with by the pumps, but in a mega flood, seepage is an issue and may overwhelm the pumps. Ways of slowing it down must be considered.
8. From the church to point G at the rear of Will Morris’ grain store is land, which, in the past, has been naturally high enough to preclude flood ingress. (We are now on Will and Tim Morris’ land, and, as can be seen from the photograph, much of this is where the water entered the village.)Between G and H is a part of the flood bank not renewed by Britannia, but constructed by Arthur Bevan using local soil. Though of poorer quality than the remainder of the banks, it did not move in the recent floods, and there will be an engineering solution for this section, principally by increasing the height and depth.
9. At point H are the pumps, and the following points arose in connection with them:9.1.There are two submersible pumps contained in the pump chamber powered from a 3-phase electricity supply. Each pump pumps 30L per second, which translates to 48,000 gallons per hour. The combined pumping of the two pumps is, therefore, considerably lower than the previous second hand colliery pump, which, in best working order, moved 70,000 gallons per hour.9.2. The pumps are submersible and in a chamber which is large enough for them to be replaced with larger pumps. We need - for the ordinary nuisance flood - a pumping capacity at least as good as we had previously, and the two pumps should, therefore, be replaced with much larger pumps (twice the size, if possible).9.3. In addition, it is quite foreseeable that a flood will coincide with a power cut and we, therefore, need a 3-phase generator to put in place during power cuts.9.4.There is a need to raise the pumps. The Environment Agency says that they continue to pump at the same rate, but it was felt that, as the flood increases in height, they are pumping against greater and greater pressure.9.5.The water arrives at the pump from the centre of the village via a piped system into an open ditch. Save as mentioned at 12 below, this was considered adequate for the purpose.
10. Between points H and I the flood bank is accessible and needs, simply, to be raised and strengthened, particularly by the Christmas trees. Point I is the present northern end of the flood defence, and water is clearly capable of outflanking it. A new bank is, therefore, needed from point I up the side of Barn Lane to the oak tree. This is Ken Samuels’ field, and both the ditch and the gate close to point H will need to be moved. A gate for a field used by cattle must be in a corner, and this is, therefore, a matter that will need to be resolved with Ken.It will also be helpful for an access to the pumps to be created at this point, so that ancillary pumps can be added when needed.
11. We discussed the water that comes down Barn Lane from higher ground. Presently, it comes down the southern side of the lane in a ditch and crosses under the road in a pipe at point I All of this needs to be enlarged, as water from Barn Lane was a problem during the last flood, and it is important to divert it before it gets into the village and causes extra pumping problems.
12. Lastly, we moved to Will and Tim’s gateway to observe that the village drain passes through a pipe between X and Y on the photograph. It passes under the field to point Z where massive pipes were installed by Britannia taking it to the open ditch and thence to the pumps. Will believes it is only the short section of the initial pipework that needs to be enlarged as, between Y and Z, the pipework is 9” and should be adequate. A few other points came up during the meeting:(A) There was water ingress into the church during the flood, albeit only in the heating wells.(B) We need a Schedule of Costs incurred, both on 22nd July and subsequently in restoration, so that this can be presented as an interim bill to the Environment Agency, Fire Brigade, or whoever.(C) Churchyard stanks – water reached 2” from the top of the extra board added by Norman MacPherson.(D) Telephone pole pipe from riverflow measuring station needs to be closed off outside village.(E) Extra manhole needs to be created outside the churchyard stanks to relieve the pressure on the manhole by David Gardner’s house.(F) Access to all parts of the banks from inside the village, where possible, should be arranged.(G) We discussed deposit of additional clay at regular intervals around the inside of the flood banks, to be used in an emergency for shoring up.(H) Bill Phelps agreed to interview villagers with a view to producing a definitive record of what happened on 22nd July 2007.

flod meeting 22nd August


Minutes of the 22 August 2007 Meeting held at ACC Pavilion at 7.30 pm

Attendance: A Leeke, B Leeke, W Morris, W Phelps.
Apologies: K Samuel, T Morris

1. Minutes of the Village Meeting of 14th August agreed as a true record.
2. Matters arising:
2.1 A. Leeke has approached the Charity Commissioners regarding the Company we wish to consider setting up and has considered the ‘Objectives’ issue. He now awaits its comments and advice.
2.2 Payments to J Cutter & M Smith. Invoices now awaited from them. Potential payments by the Yorks Fire Service being investigated. A Schedule of Costs to be requested from the Samuel & Morris families for work done and to be done on the bank (and associated) repairs.
2.3 The ‘Five Families’ (Baker, Crowley, Fay, Lord & Ward) problems to be on the agenda for the EA visit to Deerhurst on August 23rd, and not forgotten.
2.4 Potential clay supply, no new information available.
2.5 Grants. Application forms have been received from Glos Community Foundation and Rotary Club. B. Leeke to complete and submit.
2.6 Following the Tewkesbury meeting with the EA, Mr A Perry to meet the DPCC Members on August 23rd.
2.7 The request for donations from each household to be considered latter.
2.8 All other relevant items covered by A. Leeke’s August 18th report (attached).
3. The August 23rd meeting with the EA should discover if:
3.1 The EA has financial resources to improve Deerhurst Flood Defences
3.1.1 If not, has the EA acceptable intentions for improving the Deerhurst Flood Defences in the foreseeable future If not, would the EA support DCP (Ltd) taking over the banks and undertaking the necessary improvements itself (under EA guidance) and then the EA taking back the responsibility for its maintenance.
3.2 the EA would support the necessary Planning Application for the Defence improvements.
3.3 The DPCC Members will walk around the Defences with Mr A Perry and use the attached report as the basis for discussion.
3.4 The DPCC Members will canvass the EA’s views on an extended Defence from point D on A. Leeke’s Report’s Map to the Church Yard surrounding the three properties & Chapel.
3.5 The EA’s views on the Fay’s & Crowley’s defence will be sought.
3.6 The EA’s experiences on working on consecrated ground along with the associated approval requirements will be sought.
4. The gates and pumps will need discussion with TBC (possibly Chris Pike, Adrian Clemence)
5. Cleaning up the village. Each household owner requested to call on TBC, skip suppliers and builders to clear up, tidy or remove as much mess as possible. Damaged curbs will have to wait a while for the major building work to finish and equipment to leave.
6. The DPCC members expressed sincere gratitude for the kind support of both the major landowners families. It continues to be conscious of their livelihood needs and how the future improvements must tie in with their livestock/ planting/ harvesting requirements.

Next Meeting: TBA.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

mrs laughtons

Mrs Laughton, village elder and wise women, had to move house and might end up eventually in a care home for the elderly which would be very sad for her and all those in the village.

the Lords were the first to flood and had a few feet of river water into their property. This was cleaner water than the flood water that hit most of the rest of the village

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

flood systems

from EA web-site:

Floodgate Ltd.
49-51 Lammas Street, Camarthen, Wales,
SA31 3AL
Tel: 01267 234205
Fax: 01267 232752
Website: www.flojavascript:void(0)
Awarded Kitemark for:
Door board

Floodguards Systems Ltd.
Brunninghams Farm, Heath Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3QJ
Tel: 0845 500 0077
Fax: 0845 500 0088
Awarded Kitemark for:
Door board
Window board
Patio board
Airbrick Cover
And new: Rapidam barrier flood defence system

Geodesign Barriers Ltd.
3 Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0HF
Tel: 01392 876100
Fax: 01392 874407
Mobile: 07890 983239
Awarded Kitemark for:
Pallet barrier flood defence system

Flood Ark Limited
The Forge, The Street, Lyng
Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 5QZ
Tel: 01603 879977
Awarded Kitemark for:
Door board
Window board
Patio board
Airbrick cover

Total Flood Solutions
Unit 1 & 2 Pontarddulais
Workshops, Pontarddulais,
Swansea, SA4 8SG
Tel: 0845 456 7175
Awarded Kitemark for:
Building Skirt Systems

Flood Sentry
WT (UK) Limited
Sales and Head Office
Trent House, 3 Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, ESSEX, EN9 1NA
Tel: 01992 766816

Awarded Kitemark for:
Building Apperatures (Air Bricks)

Bauer Inner City
Bauer Inner City
Dallam Court
Dallam Lane
Tel 01925 428940
Fax 01925 244133


Awarded Kitemark for:

K-System temporary demountable flood defence system.

flood assistance

The Furniture Recycling Project is currently co-ordinating the collection & distribution of donated furniture & white goods if you need them? Their number is: 01452 302303 and the officer here should you need to speak with him is: Adrian Goode, 01684 272268. Adrian is also helping to co-ordinate the distribution of cleaning products, namely bleach so if you need further supplies give him a call. (CHANGE!!! - The central number for the furniture recycling and white goods has changed to 01452 318978 and the contact is a Bryony Turner. Therefore the number given yesterday will no longer apply.)

Once your insurance assessors have been in the Borough refuse service will collect flood damaged goods but given the sheer scale of households affected, people are being asked to register for collection by calling: 01684 272193. They are starting to catch up on themselves, however currently you may have to wait up to a week from the time you register.

You should have already received a copy of the Gloucestershire Relief Fund application form? Shout if not as I can always send one over to you. This is a recently established charity set up on behalf of all the districts & local churches to distribute financial donations to those affected by the recent floods. I think you can apply for a sum per household for the cost of damages that your insurances won't cover. This does however include any insurance excess you may have paid out as a result of claiming. You may also be entitled to 6 months rate relief on your council tax. The criteria for that is that you had to of been flooded out of your residence (which in the case of Deerhurst seems to be a given!) For more information on that you will need to speak to our Benefits dept: 01684 295010. There is also a 'Flooding & Historic Buildings' technical advice note from English Heritage. Copies are available from the Planning Department. Again I think there is an overall expectation that insurances would cover in the main but it may be worth checking whether English heritage are offering any form of financial assistance to help restore listed properties affected by flood damage? Locally, further advice is available from our Conservation Officer, Sarah Lewis.

The South West Regional Development Agency has established a relief fund to assist businesses that were affected by the flooding. Again applications can be made to the tune of £2.5k plus rate relief in certain cases. Business Link are co-ordinating that on: 0845 6009006.

extras on flood committee

From the 14th August Minutes:
Bill Phelps has kindly agreed to sit on the Committee & draw up the necessary report.
John Rutter has kindly agreed to sit on the Committee & be our Treasurer.

The Steering Committee walked around the defences on Saturday.
The Committee intends to meet on Tuesday to draw up a list of questions to address to Anthony Perry (EA's Area Flood Defence Manager - Lower Severn) on Friday when he visits the village. Laurance Robertson's assistant will also be present during the visit.

Friday, 17 August 2007

moving on ... Rakey Reports

Tewkesbury Abbey Hall meeting:

The Environmental Agency held an open house for flood victims. I joined Andy Springett talking to Anthony Perry, Area Flood Defence Manager - Lower Severn and the following points were noted:

1. The flood level, for example, in Bewdley was only four inches up their new defences whilst six inches or more higher than the 1947 level at the Mythe and elsewhere.
2. The build up of the Avon and the Severn surge was possibly the main reason for the unusually high levels here. Gloucester docks was below 1947 level and Maisemore was at about 1947 level.
3. We will be given the records of the levels for the last few Deerhurst area floods for comparison.
4. We will be given photographic evidence of the 2007 flood with the highest level boundaries shown and compared to those of the 1947 levels.
5. The EA will supply any information they have to assist us draw up a proposal for improved defences.
6. They will sympathetically consider requests for financial aid to rebuild the presently damaged banks (i.e. Gov't promised aid).
7. They wish us to request them to investigate the gates 'banana' effects, potential strength, need for supports etc. I believe that they would like to take the responsibility for the gates from TBC.
8. They do not really want to discuss our pumps. This is a TBC problem.
9. Mr Perry (who knows our banks well) agreed to meet us (the Deerhurst CP Committee only) next Friday, 24 August, at the Church gates, at 9.00 am, for a flood defence discussion and a walk around the banks and gates. I was requested to invite our MP to the meeting.
10. He would be happy to attend a full village meeting at a later date.
11. There is some EA sceptism about the promised increase in Government aid as the figures quoted include 'coast line defences' and are for 2010.
12. No assistance was offered for clearing our village of the stagnant water.

Kensal at work on Sunday.

church on the sunday

photos courtesy of Jade Atkinson

deerhurst church on the day of the flood

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

flood meeting

another meeting, steering committee formed with sensible people doing sensible things ...

At Apperley CC Pavilion on Tuesday 14th Aug at 7.30 pm

JULY 2007 FLOOD and its aftermath

Mr Ward, Mr Springett, Mr Gardner, Mr MacPherson, Mr A Leeke, Mr B Leeke,
Mr R Leeke, Mr K Samuel, Mr W Morris, Mr T Morris, Mr & Mrs Fay, Mr & Mrs Crowley.
Mr Pollard ( Deerhust PC).
Apologies: Families: Checkley, Dibble, Phelps, Rutter.


1. The Minutes of the Aug 9th Meeting agreed as a true record.
2. Matters arising:
2.1 Company Limited by Guarantee:
Andrew Leeke detailed the benefits of such a Company (see his document of the Aug 9th meeting). Since 9th Aug he has explored the possibilities of acquiring charitable status for that Company. There has been a precedent (Aspen Vale Trust). One major problem lies in determining the Objectives to satisfy the Charity Commissioners. The 2006 Charity Act should make it easier to acquire the status but this Act does not come into force until 2008. Much more investigation is required. Deerhurst Community Preservation Ltd was agreed as a suitably title for a future company.
2.2 Honorarium proposals.
It was agreed that the £712.55 held in the Deerhurst Flood Relief Account at Barclays Bank should be used to appropriately reward J Cutter and M Smith. Action: Messrs Morris and K Samuel to advise on this matter.
3. Election of a Steering Committee:
3.1 Chairman: Andrew Leeke
3.2 Secretary: Brian Leeke
3.3 Treasurer: John Rutter (to be requested to undertake those duties)
3.4 Members:
3.4.1 Land Owners Representative: One from Will Morris, Tim Morris & Kenny Samuel.
3.4.2 Brad Checkley (to be requested to undertake a thorough review of the Deerhurst Village Defences)
3.4.3 Bill Phelps (to be requested to undertake the proposed written Report of the Deerhurst 2007 Flood and its aftermath).
4. The Steering Committee to liase with the Environmental Agency (E.A.) as a matter of priority. Will Morris indicated that Mr Anthony Parry would be a good person to approach as he is a Regional Manager and knew the Deerhurst Floodbanks from being involved with the badger’s burrowing work a little time ago on the Priory Farm’s banks.
5. Other points debated:
5.1 While the focus was on the village banks, the flooding problems of the properties of the families Baker, Crowley, Fay, Lord & Ward should not be forgotten and raised with the relevant authorities whenever possible.
5.2 The present pumps inadequate capacities need discussion with Tewkesbury Borough Council.
5.3 The drain to the ditches leading to the pumps requires enlarging.
5.4 It was agreed that the banks should be increased in height and Mr. Samuel stated that he wished to supply the soil for his land’s banks. He was requested to consider the matter and advise an indication of the expected costs.
5.5 Mr Crawley promised to investigate of other potential supplies of clay.
5.6 Potential grant sources were discussed: Gloucestershire Community Foundation (£1000 - £5000), Deerhurst Church Friends, Insurance Companies, Glos County Council & Tewksbury Borough Council (Government grants and charitable donations).
5.7 The E.A. is holding a series of meetings for people affected by the floods in the country and Tewkesbury area’s meeting is on Thursday 16th August from 12 noon until 8 pm at the Parish Hall, Tewkesbury Abbey. Flooded householders are being encouraged to discuss their problems with the E.A. officials.
5.8 The cleaning up of the village and the repairing of the land around the banks was discussed. It was suggested that each village household should contribute, say, £50 to the funds to help meet the landowners’ expenses.
5.9 The narrow bridge at Over has given rise to much discussion over the years and has contributed to some of our flooding problems.
6. Next Meeting: To be advised following the Steering Committee’s meetings with the authorities.

Monday, 13 August 2007


(All residents of Deerhurst Village welcomed)

At Apperley CC Pavilion on Tuesday 14th Aug at 7.30 pm

Subject: JULY 2007 FLOOD and its aftermath.


1. Apologies
2. Approve the Minutes of the August 9th Meeting.
3. Matters arising
3.1 Company Limited by Guarantee proposal (Andrew Leeke)
3.2 If a Company to be set up:
3.2.1. elect a Chairman
3.2.2. elect a Company Secretary
3.2.3. elect two (or more) further Management Board Members, one Engineering, one Land Owners’ Representative.
4 Financial matters:
4.1 Present Bank balance
4.2 Honorarium proposals for M Smith, J Cutter.
5. Charities’ potential benefits to be discussed:
5.1 Tewkesbury Borough Council
5.2 Gloucestershire Flood Relief Fund
5.3 Other ones ?
6. August 16th EA Meeting at Parish Hall, Tewkesbury Abbey 12 noon to 8 pm.
7. A.o.B
8. Next meeting - date.

Please detail on the circulated sheet of paper, your address (if staying away from your home for a while), your telephone number(s), your e-mail address(es).

Friday, 10 August 2007

minutes of meeting


At Apperley CC Pavilion on Thursday 9th Aug at 7.30 pm


Mr & Mrs Ward, Mr & Mrs Lord, Mr & Mrs Scorer, Mr & Mrs Springett, Mr & Mrs Checkley, Mr & Mrs J Hall, Mr & Mrs Gardner, Mr Phelps, Mr & Mrs MacPherson, Mr & Mrs Curran, Mr & Mrs A Leeke, Miss H Leeke, Mr & Mrs B Leeke, Mr R Leeke, Mr & Mrs K Samuel, Mr W Morris, Mrs Dibble, Mr & Mrs Rutter.
Mr L Robertson MP, Mr Waters & Mr Pollard ( both Deerhust PC).


1. Mr Robertson advised the meeting that he had recently been in contact with Hazel Blears regarding the flood problems and that he intended to highlight the Tewkesbury area plight in Parliament when it sits again in October. The Gov’t money allocations were not yet clear and his intentions were to do his best to ensure that the EA and TBC were given adequate resources to meet the proven needs.

2. The meeting warmly supported with applause the sincere thanks to the Samuel’s and Morris’s families for their wonderful & wholehearted endeavours on Sunday July 22nd

3. Brad Checkley detailed the weakness of our present flood defences and stated that as a civil engineer, he considered that the village could be successfully defended against 2007 type floods by improving the banks, gates & pumps. Much discussion ranged about this subject with general agreement by the two major landowners of the above statement. It was agreed that we should undertake a detailed survey of the banks especially as the present levels are below the 1947 bench mark levels.

4. Will Morris reported on the major land owners’ views of the situation with concerns about the EA’s and TBC’s ability to suitably prioritise our requirements regarding the defences.

5. Andrew Leeke discussed an option to best represent our interests. A Company Limited by Guarantee comprising of village home owners was proposed to focus our endeavours and concentrate the minds of the authorities whenever we wished matters highlighted (a document was given to each family detailing the proposal). The meeting agreed unanimously that this matter should be pursued and Mr Leeke was requested to draw up the appropriate documentation for consideration at a future meeting.

6. Kenny Samuel stated that he intended to clear the roads and repair the damage to his fields in the very near future. He agreed that it would be appropriate to recompense Marcus Smith and John Cutter for their excellent work on the 22nd July. The new Committee/ Trustees/ Directors shall consider this at an early opportunity.

7. Dave Waters and Jim Pollard were warmly thanked for their support of the
villagers during the total disturbance.

8. It was agreed to hold another meeting at the ACC Pavilion on Tuesday 14th August at 7.30 pm to form a Committee (or Trustees/ Directors).

the flood meeting

a full turn out for the village meeting with the bonus of one or two unexpected guests, one of which was our local MP. Not bad for an invite only meeting! To be fair to our guest, Laurence Robertson did what all good constituency MPs should do. Listen and offer help. The dynamics of any meeting are always interesting and it is amazing how often the participants full into neat boxes the mnagement literature says they should! The lessons from anthropology are never far away as well! Whatever your political views, Laurence handled himself fine.

Will add the minutes of the meeting which fortunately did not ramble on too long and covered the bases as well as could be expected. There are still people who look in shock and those who were not flooded almost wish they had been in a perverse way.

The star of the evening was undoubtedly Andrew Leeke, who talked a lot of sense in a lawerly way and "held" the meeting as would be expected from someone in his line of work. There were glimpses of a dry SOH even! How little you know people when you have lived 50 yards away for 20 years!

After all the talk, the situation is clean up (Kensal), take an accurate survey, form a company limited by guarantee (under a name like Deerhurst Flood Relief) to confer legitimacy on our efforts to deal with EA, BC etc and form a committee to run this company. Problem solved! Well, it is not going to be that easy. Account needs to be taken for those outside the flood bank and the landowners (e.g. Church) that we need to build up the defences. Full minutes to be posted later.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Midlands Today feedback

the initial reactions for the afternoon pre-Midlands version is that it was a fair enough report and was made by the video footage of the flood itself. The camera and reporter were not in the faces of the villagers and even if there was a little helpful guidance in priming the questions Giles Latcham came over well to the interviewees.

the later version pushed the forgotten village storyline fairly hard but mentioned the key points that needed mentioning i.e. flood banks, clean up. Luckily, the photos from the blog were not used!

If you want to see it ask we have a copy on video and you will be able to see it at for probably a few days.

Aerial shots of the flood can be seen at:

the earth returns to its rightful place!

Kensal can try to repair some of the damage to his property.

the damage to the field will take some repairing- many moons ago it used to be a football pitch.

the new living abode for the gardners! Bigger than their first caravan

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

BBC Midlands Today

Giles Latcham, nice guy, was on the phone asking to come down to look at the village that someone had described as a "ghost village" to him. It is hard to describe a village of around 20 houses which gets visits from David Cameron, the Bishop of Gloucester, Archdeacon of Cheltenham, National head of the fire service (with 3 crews!) and still has a lot of activity going on (people toing and froing) as a ghost village. As the decision of where to live become clear there will be less and less activity but think 4 families have made the decision to live in mobile homes so it will hopefully never become a marie celeste village (or as someone put it, the village of the damned!!! a great pun which i can not claim credit for)

The sensibility of those in the village who have not recovered well and are still understandably raw is at forefront of reasons not to invite a camera crew down, but there again if it helps raise questions with relevant authorities (be it the local BC or EA) and gets things moving it could be of some use. There are still houses that have not had their Disaster Care in and if it allows people like Cynthia to get in the house then it is surely worth a little hassle. I am sure the BBC will be sympathetic and understanding to our cause. There are undboudtedly questions that do need answering. Tune into BBC Midlands Today on Wednesday night to see Brad and other villagers on TV.

flood meeting

there will be a flood meeting at Apperley Cricket Club pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday for all residents of Deerhurst.

The agenda will be posted below as soon as possible

a more considered view of the floods (Brian Leeke)


Commencing July 20th 2007.

The exceptional rainstorms of Friday 20th July, when about two average months’ rainfall was recorded in one day, resulted in the Deerhurst village ‘basin’ by the ‘T’ junction to St Mary’s Church, Deerhurst, being filled to a point where the floodwater pumps were proven hopelessly ineffective. The resultant Sunday 22nd July surge in the Severn of some 10 feet saw floods in the Deerhurst Parish basin exceeding the 1947 levels and proportions. The result was flooding in eighteen Deerhurst village houses and at least thirteen vehicles submerged under the water. The speed of the rise in the levels of the flood was amazing and a little alarming.

There were some truly outstanding endeavours to protect the village on that Sunday by increasing the height of the flood banks and the two stank gates:

a) Kenny Samuel and Marcus Smith on the tractors and trailer continuously took loads of earth to various sites

b) Tim Morris, John Cutter and Marcus Smith on three JCB & MF earth moving equipment covered the banks weak points

c) Kenny and Tim did an unbelievable amount of heavy work shoring up the weak points all round the boundary

d) Will Morris and Des Samuel gave knowledgeable and helpful advice (both of whom had experienced many floods in the past, but not of this magnitude)

e) physical spade & shovel work and determined assistance was given by Deerhurst and some very kind Apperley residents (lead by Deerhurst Flood Warden, Norman MacPherson)

f) a fourteen hour day’s hard labour was recorded on the inner flood banks and was genuinely unforgettable. Sadly, it was to no avail due to a number of reasons which need addressing – some of which are done so below:

Obvious points, generally agreed:

  1. This disaster could happen again due to ‘climate change’ – and soon.
  2. The present Deerhurst pumping system is not effective.

2.1 It needs increasing in capacity by supplying a parallel and permanently installed battery starting hydraulic pumping system in case of an electricity problem as experienced in 2007.

2.2 The present inadequate pumping facility needs raising two feet six inches from its present base and its capacity increasing many fold.

Note: On Wednesday 25th July the water level in the Severn was approximately one foot lower than that inside the Deerhurst village basin and in consequence the houses had higher levels of flood water in them than they should have had i.e. due primarily to the inability of the pumps to help drain the basin quickly. At one stage the basin’s water was poring over the flood banks into the Severn. The present inadequate pumping system cuts out on overheating, which is totally unacceptable.

  1. The Deerhurst 1947 level Inner Flood Banks are too low to hold back the 2007 level type floods and need increasing in height by at least two feet six inches all round the present defence boundary.
  2. The new stank gates are two feet six inches too low.

4.1 They need a physical support in the middle as a worrying ‘banana’ bow was seen in them due to the pressure of the floodwater. This support could be a separate solid metal post positioned in the centre of the gate and sunk to a sensible depth into the road.

4.2 The tarmac road is leaking below the gates.

4.3 There were leaks down the sides of the gates or their structures, both of which need investigation and possibly strengthening.

  1. There is a witnessed need to increase the flood bank protection in many new places (besides the increase in overall bank height):

5.1 in the church yard where major problems were witnessed (a new flood bank required)

5.2 by the porous walls on either side of the road to the church stank gate

5.3 around the area by the Apperley Road stank gate

5.4 from Mr K Samuel’s animal slurry pit to the present flood bank (a new flood bank required with provision for an animal crossing point)

5.5 on the Barn Lane road entrance into the village (an area where problems have been seen before but not satisfactorily overcome by STWA or Environmental Agency)

5.6 on either side of the road of the above para 5.5 (one new flood bank required on the village side).

5.7 access to the pumping station is needed via the banks from Barn Lane road and similar access is required from the church road to the banks leading to Deerhurst House.

5.8 land water flowing into the village down Barn Lane needs diverting into the river and not allowing to flow into the village.

  1. The supply of 2500 sand bags should be given as soon as possible along with the necessary sand, to allow Parishioners to build up reserve defences should emergencies be experienced in the future.
  2. The total lack of assistance from any of the authorities was to a degree understandable in the circumstances and is an omen for the future. Deerhurst village needs to be self-supporting in its defence against similar future floods. To enable such a position resources must be provided to allow those defences to be built and maintained.
  3. The lack of Environmental Agency up to date communication was disturbing. The information given was questionable at most times.

The STWA or Environmental Agency can not be blamed for this disaster to our village, however, if it were to happen again with the same levels of flooding experienced, the STWA or Environmental Agency should be held totally responsible if the above recommendations have not been acted upon in a reasonable timescale. The Government has stated that financial aid is available for the communities such as Deerhurst, so there cannot be any excuses.

Following a requested visit to the village by the Gloucestershire Chief Fire Officer on Saturday and the visitor’s immediate and sympathetic reaction to our plight (when the Environmental Agency was not taking the event as a village disaster), the Gloucestershire (Cirencester), West Yorkshire (Bradford & Leeds) and Northampton Fire & Rescue Service did a truly fantastic job clearing a comparatively massive volume of water from the village basin. Without their help the water would have been in the village gardens for days longer. The Environmental Agency’s two pumping facilities (one from Uttoxeter), when they eventually began a 24 hours per day operation, were equally praiseworthy and their respective personnel remarkably courteous and excellent in all respects.

The attached map highlights those areas described above. There is plenty of photographic evidence available should it be needed and it is assumed from the squadrons of helicopters and light aircraft flying over the Parish during the flood, that there are many interesting films available for detailed examination. An in depth survey is required to allow constructive review of the total situation and recommendations for immediate action. It has been indicated that the Environmental Agency does wish to increase the level of our banks because of the down stream effects on Gloucester. Balderdash ! Our village basin is a thimble full of water when one looks at the total Severn flood basin. We must put sustained pressure on the powers-to-be to ensure that this disaster does not occur again.

Other highlights included:

a) Mr Dave Cameron, Tory Leader, and Laurence Robertson MP visiting the village outskirts on Saturday 28th July

b) A high ranking National Fire Officer, the Bishop of Tewkesbury and the Archdeacon of Cheltenham all came to inspect the village problems. The Fire Officer was appalled and organised the Fire Service Pumping Units supply for which the affected village home owners will be eternally grateful.

On August 6th, the village entrance with piles of earth, stagnant and sewage laden water trapped in the fields, rutted road surfaces and hedge borne flotsam had not been attacked by any authority. Tewkesbury Borough Council is apparently unable to assist us until the financial position is resolved – somewhere.

Monday, 6 August 2007

who is to blame?

the search for answers to the flood question is an interesting one and we have included 5 of the main possible culprits or depending on your POV, scapegoats. It doesn't take a detailed fishbone analysis to point the finger first at the Environmental Agency, whose own web-site puts our village at a low risk. From speaking to some of the men manning the pumps that helped clear the village, their concern is directed at the central government funding who allegedly reduced the flood defence budget last year.

It is way too easy to scream and kick about, what strikes anyone with half a brain (phew! just in), the target driven bonuses of Lady Young and her Environmental Agency cronies. Sure these are just target based bonuses that are triggered automatically - will have to sometime look up how these bonuses are set up - sure they tick all the corporate responsiblity boxes but hope that somewhere along the line there is a customer satisfaction portion in the pay formula and that we are asked about our customer satisfaction!

The poll does not include a " it is just one of those things" or "maybe the villagers could have done better" because I did not think of them at the time! In more reflective times, it is way too easy to say "it was just one of those things": there are lessons to be learned for all parties in what we hope is once in a lifetime event. As long as it is never again.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

the good, the bad and the ugly

Good - work for lots of builders, restorers, assessors etc. An afternoon drive for rubber neckers. A chance to refurbish, re-arrange houses. Gets people out of houses and into a what is a village spirit that was probably not there many years ago anyway. Still haven't some people in the village yet! Politicians talk endlessly about communities and creating and fostering them - people's social networks are much more diverse nowadays with the advent of easy travel and the internet (IM, Facebook, Bebo etc) The old image of concentric circles encompassing your different network of friends/ relatives are a little less easy to categorise nowadays. Communities are based more on culture, built upon the artefacts, beliefs and the core philosophy, which is hard to change. We would like to think self-reliance is at the core of the village life, whether through necessity of lack of support or through a group wish.

Bad: - disruption, stress, loss (financial and especially personal, people's art works and calligraphy)

Ugly - the smell, the slight sleights of people trying to help, the boredom of retelling the story over and over again!

Friday, 3 August 2007

they are coming back ...

C. is back - thought it might give her a kick to see her name in print (fame at last! C = Cynthia Hall) as she is a proper silver surfer - and it raises the question of how many people will return. A house is not a house but a home and the feeling of violaton that people that experience from a burglary is being replicated, but this time we saw the burglar coming and could do very little to stop the b**tard!

E. (Emma Checkley) is determined to be back before Christmas and will be doing her neighbourhood watch all the time (think she has 999 on speed dial!) as she pays her daily visit to her stranded house. Our little caped crusader whose wearing of thigh high waders excited some interest in the older generation and sure she wore them a little longer than strictly necessary! She stayed up to watch the water seep into the house before being "dragged" away by her Brummis Chummies. Personally, could not be arsed to do that as seen enough water that day!

The choice of whether to stay or go is an interesting one for all concerned.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

it hurts ...

it reminds me of one of the Leslie Nielsen films where people are told to "move on, nothing to see here" when madness takes place in the background. What we regard as normalcy is something very different for visitors, a low level armageddon (the white goods waiting to be assessed, all the carpets, kitchen stuff, books etc flung into gardens)

The visitors to the village can be divided up into:

- rubber neckers (slightly gormless crew who come down, see a muddy road and some rubbish and have to turn back - this does upset many of those who are left in the village) Why would you want to come down here? all the good photos are on this blog anyway!
- rubber neckers with a reason, mostly nefarious. We do need a road closed sign up here.
- villagers still living here
- friends of villagers, offers from help from the Saintly Wisemen family and other apperley-ites very much appreciated
- villagers not living here (this is going to become a bit of a ghost village soon as people who are leaving are putting all their stuff into storage but there are potential looters hence ...)
- police (always welcome)
- people who come to see the Church which is always a steady trickle

Bad News!: punctured a tyre on way back from collecting water. If you excuse the pun, it never rains but it floods.
Nothing in the Telegraph today which is a relief as do not fancy photos that were being taken. We are not media whores!