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Date & start time: Monday 23rd December 2009.

Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : Braithwaite, Keswick (George Fishers - work ) and back.

Walk details : [ not really applicable today ]

Highest point : Seeing the signs of recovery in Keswick.

Walked with : Myself

Weather : Cool and damp with grey skies. More rain forecast.

First day back at work
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Time to venture out of the valley again as life gets back to some sort of normality in Loweswater.

It's a work day today and I drive to Keswick via Whinlatter.

All the local road flooding has gone and the journey to work takes just five minutes longer than normal.

The Coledale Beck that was a rushing torrent a few days ago has mellowed back to a fast flowing beck

[ Hold your cursor over the photo to see the difference ]

Dear Roger and Ann . . .

This was one of many recent emails we have received from people who have been concerned with the recent events and how Cumbria is coping with the current situation.

I took the above photo (but not the original) with Patricia and Sylvia in mind.

"My cousin, like me, is anxious to know a little more about the present state of Braithwaite and I am daring to ask you if you can tell us something.

Attached is a photograph of my uncle Walter, Aunt Marion and cousins taken outside their home before they left for Australia in 1948.

Sylvia is anxious to know if the bridge on which this picture was taken and their house behind it has survived the current floods.

Many thanks, Patricia Causier.

Hope than answers your question Patricia . . . Rmh

The one slight delay on today's drive occured once I entered Keswick.

The main Greta Bridge was closed so I diverted via the Station Road bridge, only to find that closed as well.

Still, I parked the car and continued by foot for the last few hundred yards of the journey.

This is the Station Road / Fitz Park road bridge which has been closed pending structural checks.

Even the pedestrian arch underneath is a no go area today.

However the new footbridge just up stream is open

and has survived the torrent apart from some cosmetic damage to the landscaping.

Fitz Park behind though has been badly affected by the flood waters and the new plantings and bowling green are not looking too good.

I arrive at work . . . well above the flood line !

- - - o o o - - -

At lunchtime I had chance to get out to do a little essential shopping and to see the town.

Unlike Cockermouth, where probably 95% of the businesses have suffered damage,

the statistics in Keswick are reversed and for most shopkeepers and businesses it's business as usual.

They even had the usual Keswick Street Market last Saturday in the square in front of the Moot Hall

Brysons the Bakers are full of bread and confectionary to buy . . . and their cafe is open.

However, down towards High Hill the road is still closed.

Looking across to the retaining wall that held, but was overwhelmed by the sheer bulk of water.

Apparently there is a crack in the retaining wall of the river bank

just alongside the bridge,

so they have closed this area

subject to full engineering inspection.

- - - o o o - - -

Access to the centre of Keswick from the A66 is still open

via the first road junction at the top (eastern) end of town.

Looks good to me . . . but I'm no engineer . . . and I can't tell what the underwater foundations are like.

The upstream side of the main river containment wall.

The river levels have dropped approximately eight feet, the whole height of the wall, now that the flooding has subsided.

Off to the shops . . . and Booths supermarket is open for business too.

They had six inches of muddy water flood through the store,

but a tremendous effort by staff and contractors has got it up and running again . . . brilliant.

A generator was brought in to re-start the waste water pumping station over the weekend.

Contractors are in restoring power and services to this low lying part of town.

Spoilt furnishings and carpets are placed outside as people start to recover their homes.

- - - o o o - - -

After work I made my way back to the car.

That's great . . . some of the Christmas Lights are on and the mood of recovery is set.

The Moot Hall Square with the first Christmas Tree.

Friars of Keswick . . . ready for Christmas.

My favourite Cheese and Olive shop in Packhorse Court.

Could this be Keswick's lucky Angel that kept the worst of the flooding away?

- - - o o o - - -

Keswick is now back on it's feet and what they need now is for the people to return.

Cumbria is open for business . . . give them your support . . . by not cancelling your holiday or shopping trip.

- - - o o o - - -

I repeat this photo from Yesterday . . . Aldi's in Cockermouth . . . open for business too.

Not all the shops in this badly hit town have been closed.

The road signs on the Papcastle roundabout may give the impression that no-one may enter town from that end

but the Highways Department must quickly modify their signs and allow people in to support this sort of business just when they need customers.

A positive slant from the BBC and other News providers would help too !

- - - o o o - - -

As I suggested earlier, the towns of Cockermouth and part of Workington have suffered very badly from the floods

Should you wish to help, and so many of you have emailed to say you do, I provide the following links that you may wish to use :-

The Cumbria Community Foundation has set up a

Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund

for individuals, families and voluntary groups that have suffered in the flooding.

See the their website for more information

and click here to view their latest Press Release

( This should open a .pdf word processing file in a new window on your PC.)

- - - o o o - - -


The Rotary Clubs of Cockermouth and Keswick have also launched a joint charity appeal to help people affected by the flooding

who are unable to get insurance due to having been flooded previously and who have no other means to repair their homes.

You can donate to this appeal using various means . . . see the Rotary Club of Keswick website for full details.

Cheques can be sent to Rotary Clubs of Cockermouth & Keswick Flood Appeal, 26, Briar Rigg, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4NN.

They should be made payable to “The Rotary Club of Keswick”


- - - o o o - - -

The local paper, The Cockermouth Times and Star has the following web page full of information.

The Times and Star Cumbria Flood Rescue Fund details ( published mid-day today )

- - - o o o - - -


People who are concerned for the welfare of their family members can call the following help line number for information: 01900 702911.

Members of the public should listen to local radio or visit the Allerdale Borough Council website for further advice and updates. There is also a list of useful contact information at

The Council has an emergency 24 hour hotline number for any enquiries relating to flooding incidents in the borough. Anyone seeking advice or information on issues such as temporary homelessness, street sweeping or requests for sandbags should call 01900 871080.


- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous report - 22nd Nov 2009 The November Gales - Day 3+4

A previous time here - 9th December 2006 A winter walk up Hopegill with Keswick cloud inversions

Next walk - 25th Nov 2009 Cumbria is OPEN