WICKFORD FLOOD - NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS (14)
Runwell Hospital and New Crown Post Office Flooded
Recently I was able to copy a friend’s newspaper cuttings from the time of the Wickford floods. I think these cuttings should be shared with others.
11 SEPTEMBER 1958
This has been extracted from a long article: – “Police use rubber dinghy to save women in flooded home.” The whole article covered various South East Essex flood locations and only the salient part about Wickford is reproduced below.
Runwell Hospital was severely hit. Wards were flooded out and some patients had to be moved. The corridors and recreation hall were badly flooded and the parquet flooring was dislodged.
The basement of the general stores was filled with water almost to the ceiling and took many hours to pump out. Much of the stores were saved. The power house, boiler room, nurses’ home and other buildings also had their share of water.
The houses of the resident staff were also hit, worst hit being the home of Mr T. Fitzroy Kelly, Secretar; here there was nearly two feet of water on the floor. Valuable volumes in his library were destroyed and furniture and effects severely damaged.
Nurses who had been on duty all day Friday were called out again for night duty as outside staff could not reach the hospital.
On Saturday afternoon Lord Burden, Chairman of the Management Committee, visited the hospital. He thanked the staff for the work they had done.
Work of repair started soon after the floods subsided and was still being carried out on Wednesday.
Receiving a call to Broadmayne, Basildon, on Friday night, Wickford firemen were compelled to turn back in Whitmore Way when water stalled their engine.
Returning to Wickford they could not get back to base because of the floods, so they made the home of Sub-Officer J. Franklin, in Nevendon Road, their temporary station, and received instructions from headquarters by telephone.
They were kept busy throughout the flood period and also on Sunday and throughout the week.
POST OFFICE DELAY?
There may be a delay in the opening of Wickford’s new Crown Post Office in Southend Road.
Opening was scheduled for next month, but the floods severely damaged equipment and furnishings stored in the basement and oak panelling and furniture already fitted.
Portable drying machines, manned by R.A.F. personnel, were still in use drying out shops and private dwellings in Wickford on Wednesday”.