Motcombe flooding: the clean up begins

Motcombe Gardens
Motcombe Gardens

A major clean up operation is ongoing to pump water from Motcombe Gardens and the bowling green.

Members of the bowling club, the council’s parks and gardens department and firefighters have been manning pumps since Boxing Day to try and clear the bowling green and park after drains leading to the Bourne Street became blocked.

Even Neptune, the statue in the middle of the park, was underwater for much of the festive season.

The flooding started on Christmas Eve with torrential rain and continued until yesterday (Monday) when volunteers were still manning pumps.

Among them were club members Malcolm Fuller, Derek Box and Graham Barnard who were joined by Andrew Tilney from the parks and gardens, Ray Russell from The Landscape Group and Old Town ward councillor Carolyn Heaps.

Derek said, “We have been here from 8am until late in the evening manning the pumps since one of the drains leading to the Bourne Stream was blocked in Lawns Avenue.

“That has been unblocked and we have managed to get rid of nine inches of water in 24 hours but there is still a lot to do.”

Malcolm added, “It has been a full on operation and everyone has worked very hard. We wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the help of the parks and gardens department at the council and Councillor Heaps.

“Everything is going the right way now and the greenkeeper has been down to inspect the greens and says if we can it back to normal in the next few days we should be okay.”

Councillor Heaps, who lives in nearby Motcombe Road, was also helping volunteers.

“They have been angels,” she said. “Everyone has worked very hard. I have a great affinity with Motcombe Gardens and the bowling club and it has been good to get down here and lend a hand.”

Flooding last occurred in Motcombe Gardens and the bowling green, established 102 years ago, in 1998.