Photo gallery: Exhibition will mark centenary of Beccles floods

One hundred years ago, hurricane winds and heavy rain battered Beccles. On the anniversary of that weekend, photos from the deluge are set to go on show at a special exhibition at the Beccles and District Museum.

One hundred years ago, hurricane winds and heavy rain battered Beccles.

Homes, streets and the railway line all struggled with flooding as part of the town became cut off as the weekend's deluge followed weeks of heavy rain. And on the anniversary of that weekend, photos from that time will be able to be seen as the Beccles and District Museum holds a special exhibition.

The museum, in Ballygate, is to hold an display of images and information relating to the floods for the next month, after volunteer David Broom searched through the archives.

'Because it's the 100-year anniversary we thought it was the time to do it,' he said. 'There were other floods in 1953 and 1968 but this was the major flood.'


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The last weekend of August 1912 saw four inches of rain fall on the town in 36 hours.

This added to weeks of rain previously, and further wind and rain after led to scenes of desolation across the town.

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The River Waveney burst its banks as marshland, the Valley railway line between Beccles and Bungay, and streets struggled to cope.

Mr Broom said: 'I would have thought that especially in Northgate and Fen Lane it would have been quite dramatic.'

He has also created two maps especially for the exhibition which shows the impact of the flooding on the town, and how it has changed through the years.

'They show the difference, with particular flooding around the medieval St Anne's River,' he said.

The exhibition is one of many on show at the museum, which was judged this week after being shortlisted in the Suffolk Museum of the Year competition.

Curator Jennifer McIntosh said that they were delighted to make the final stage and added that they regularly looked to host topical displays.

'We have got a wonderful archive of old photos and look for opportunities to get them out,' she said.

Another example is an Olympic collection currently on show.

This includes photos, cups and sports paraphernalia from a range of Beccles sports clubs.

Pam Finch, who created that exhibition, said: 'It was an opportunity to get in touch with sporting clubs in Beccles and allow them the chance to promote their clubs.'

There are also tickets from the 1960 Olympics in Rome and the games maker uniform of volunteer Michelle Golding, who was at London 2012 as a mobility team member.

The Beccles Floods exhibition is to run until September and the museum is open every afternoon, except Mondays, from 2.15 to 5pm. Donations are welcome.

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