Middleton Manchester Pre ww11
"Monday 11th July 1927 reveals a great disaster has befallen the town - a deluge that swept down the hills and breached the ridge that carries the Rochdale Canal over the River Irk at Mills Hill has flooded the low-lying areas of the town.
As the rescue operations get under way there are fears that there could have been loss of life.
For days there has been abnormally bad weather. Incessant rain has swollen the River Irk till it overflowed, flooding streets in the Little Park area at the bottom-end of Oldham Road.
Householders worked furiously to build embankments to protect their property, but their efforts were to prove futile.
For suddenly the buttresses of the bridge supporting the canal collapsed and the canal water surged away with a roar that increased as they merged with those of the Irk 30 feet below.
For hours millions of gallons of water poured from the canal into the Irk. Bridges were swept away as the wall of water roared through Spring Vale and Little Park. Among the more bizarre sights reported was the waters rushed through the town were hordes of squealing pigs being swept along by the swirling current. In their wake came furniture, hen coops full of drowned poultry, dog kennels and every conceivable bit of flotsam and jetsam.
During all this frantic calls were being telephoned to Manchester and other fire stations. The Middleton fire station was under water and the brigade was unable to get out. When the torrent was at its height boats were commandeered from the Heaton Park boating lake and launched in Manchester New Road. The volunteer "lifeboat men" were soon busy rescuing people who hand taken refuge in upstairs bedrooms.
A narrow escape was experienced by Mrs Tattersall of Marsh Row. She was on her doorstep wondering how to escape when she slipped and was at once carried away bon her back on the torrent. Two men in waders rushed to her assistance and caught her just as she was being washed round the corner down a steep slope towards the brook.
In one Little Park home a family of eight were imprisoned in the bedroom as the flood waters rose in the living room below. The children were rescued through the bedroom windows, but the mother was awaiting confinement and could not be removed in the circumstances. Fortunately the water rose no higher than the bedroom floor.
Tomorrow morning the full extent of the damage will be revealed, but in the meantime the townsfolk are praising God for their deliverance."
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