Nostalgia: Water, water everywhere

Gardeners try to unblock the drains in a flooded Princes Street Gardens in 1953

Gardeners try to unblock the drains in a flooded Princes Street Gardens in 1953

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SUMMER is upon us and that means one thing for the Capital – torrential downpours and flooding.

Residents in the Stockbridge Colonies were driven from their homes last week, while a huge clean-up operation took place in many parts of the city.

But such a deluge is nothing new to the people of Edinburgh.

In 1953, for instance, thunderstorms left Princes Street Gardens resembling a river with those involved in the clean-up wading in to knee-deep 
waters.

A housewife in Howard Place clears up after flooding hit her home in 1968

A housewife in Howard Place clears up after flooding hit her home in 1968

Similar scenes on the roads during that spell of wild weather saw buses struggling to negotiate a path under Slateford Bridge.

Further flooding in May 1968 wreaked havoc in homes across the

Capital with residents having to mop up the damage.

Despite showing admirable spirit in 1965, an ice-cream van became a victim of more heavy rain bringing chaos to the streets, which left it and another vehicle marooned in Broomhouse Road.

Buses negotiate their way under Slateford Bridge in the same year in 1968

Buses negotiate their way under Slateford Bridge in the same year in 1968

In September of that year, the rainfall broke all existing records in Edinburgh as the average hours of sunshine were cut by almost half. Five inches of rain fell, as downpours took place on 22 days of the month with drizzle on the others.

Things weren’t much better a year later when flooding struck homes in Bangor Road. Six inches of rain lapped over doorsteps with plumbers working desperately to keep drains clear, while mothers had to carry their children through water.

One worker said his firm had attended to flooding on that particular street eight times over a two-year period.