Sixty six years ago as of this week, parts of Selby and the surrounding villages were under flood waters.
After a winter of heavy snowfalls, the weather turned warmer in late February 1947 and a large volume of snow in the hills all melted within one week, resulting in a surge of melt water sweeping down the River Ouse.
A sharp bend in the river at Selby and the piles of two bridges resulted in a build-up of flood water up-stream and on the Saturday night of March 22nd 1947, firstly the water overtopped its bank near the Dam resulting in Wistow Lordship being flooded.
Hippodrome cinema goers were evacuated as water was in the lower stalls by 9pm on the Saturday night.
By early Sunday morning the river bank behind Barlby Hall had been breached resulting in a very large area being flooded including the O C O.
Within a week the flood waters had receded leaving devastation but that’s another story.
The picture here shows the ARDOL clock tower, which incidently is to be restored and incorporated in the proposed new Olympia Park development.
Before the Second World War land owners owned the land to the low water mark and it was their duty to construct and keep maintained the flood bank on their property.
In the late 1930’s the ‘Yorkshire Ouse River Board’ was formed and they took over the river banks simply because of high tide flooding where some landowners were not maintaining their section of river bank in a satisfactory condition In the Selby area first.
Italian and, then later, German prisoners of war were employed in the construction of new higher and stronger banks and at wars end men were set on by the river board to finish the construction.
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Weather for Selby
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South