IN PICTURES: 50th anniversary of ‘devastating’ Somerset floods

PUBLISHED: 17:08 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 11 July 2018

Congresbury boys convey marooned householders through High Street in a dinghy.

Congresbury boys convey marooned householders through High Street in a dinghy.

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Fifty years ago this week ‘devastating’ floods tore through parts of Somerset, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.

On July 12, 1968, the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald reported more than 13ft of water fell in parts of Somerset.

The paper reported: “It was a night of horror for innumerable people whose homes stood in the path of the floods.”

Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Woodland Resaurant and Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Woodland Resaurant and Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.

Towns and villages were cut off from power and roads were deduced to rubble after five days of continuous rain.

Cheddar, Blackford and Congresbury were among the worst hit areas, with the one casualty being in Blackford.

Some of the little shops leading up to Cheddar Gorge have been badly hit.Some of the little shops leading up to Cheddar Gorge have been badly hit.

Villagers pitched in to help during and after the disaster, with youngsters tugging inflatable boats to get people around, and housing their neighbours as well as removing and clearing away the waste left behind.

Here are some photos from the 1968...

Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Cliff Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Cliff Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.

Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.

Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.

Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.Flood waters in Cheddar Gorge.

Flooding damage in a lane off Church Road in Blackford, where Blackford Brook crosses the lane.Flooding damage in a lane off Church Road in Blackford, where Blackford Brook crosses the lane.

The Wedmore to Allerton road. One of the many blockages caused by banks subsiding.The Wedmore to Allerton road. One of the many blockages caused by banks subsiding.

Wading past the Church Wells in Axbridge Square.Wading past the Church Wells in Axbridge Square.

The flooded highway at Loxton Garage.The flooded highway at Loxton Garage.

The water splash in Axbridge Square.The water splash in Axbridge Square.

Drying out at Church Street, Blackford.Drying out at Church Street, Blackford.

Flooding damage in Church Street in Blackford.Flooding damage in Church Street in Blackford.

Mr. D. Moger starts the motor on a pump he used to get the water out of his shop, Cliff Cottages, Cheddar.Mr. D. Moger starts the motor on a pump he used to get the water out of his shop, Cliff Cottages, Cheddar.

Mopping-up operations in the lounge at Congresbury's Ship and Castle.Mopping-up operations in the lounge at Congresbury's Ship and Castle.

Flooding damage in Cheddar. A car casaulty.Flooding damage in Cheddar. A car casaulty.

Flooding damage in Cheddar. The devastated highway through Cheddar Gorge.Flooding damage in Cheddar. The devastated highway through Cheddar Gorge.

Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Cliff Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.Flooding damage in Cheddar. The Cliff Gift Shop near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.

19th July 1968 Flood Edition.19th July 1968 Flood Edition.

The flood piling down Cheddar Gorge, where the Cliffs meets Daghole.The flood piling down Cheddar Gorge, where the Cliffs meets Daghole.

Water surrounds Cheddar's Cliff Hotel.Water surrounds Cheddar's Cliff Hotel.

A flood demolished length of wall at Wedmore.A flood demolished length of wall at Wedmore.

19th July 1968 Flood Edition.19th July 1968 Flood Edition.

12th July 1968 Flood Edition.12th July 1968 Flood Edition.

Flood damage from when Winford Brook burst its banks.Flood damage from when Winford Brook burst its banks.

Some of the little shops leading up to Cheddar Gorge have been badly hit.Some of the little shops leading up to Cheddar Gorge have been badly hit.

The force of the water sweeping down Cheddar Gorge uncovered and fractured a water main.The force of the water sweeping down Cheddar Gorge uncovered and fractured a water main.

Making a start on cleaning out the mud-choked Gough's Caves, Cheddar, from which a torrent poured during the floods.Making a start on cleaning out the mud-choked Gough's Caves, Cheddar, from which a torrent poured during the floods.

Vehicles swept from their garages and piled against a wall at Wedmore.Vehicles swept from their garages and piled against a wall at Wedmore.

The flood-ravaged highway below Gough's Caves, Cheddar.The flood-ravaged highway below Gough's Caves, Cheddar.

At Wedmore, Mr. Reg Gibb's car was swept from the garage into the narrow brook that runs beside it.At Wedmore, Mr. Reg Gibb's car was swept from the garage into the narrow brook that runs beside it.

The scene at Poolbridge Road, Blackford. Sections of the highway lifted bodily and flung to the side, and hugh hole knocked in a house.The scene at Poolbridge Road, Blackford. Sections of the highway lifted bodily and flung to the side, and hugh hole knocked in a house.

Flooding damage in Cheddar. A scene near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.Flooding damage in Cheddar. A scene near the foot of Jacob's Ladder.

From the bottom of Cheddar Gorge, the swirlling flood sweeps past the Edelweiss Restaurant and on into lower Cheddar.From the bottom of Cheddar Gorge, the swirlling flood sweeps past the Edelweiss Restaurant and on into lower Cheddar.

Flooding at Cheddar. Miss D.G. Pople carries on with her milk deliveries at Cheddar.Flooding at Cheddar. Miss D.G. Pople carries on with her milk deliveries at Cheddar.

The road at the bottom of Cheddar Gorge becomes a swiftly flowing river several feet deep.The road at the bottom of Cheddar Gorge becomes a swiftly flowing river several feet deep.

Flooding at Cheddar. And the Cave Man grins!Flooding at Cheddar. And the Cave Man grins!

The floods made Gough's Caves the channel of a subterranean river here seen emerging to cascade down through Cheddar village.The floods made Gough's Caves the channel of a subterranean river here seen emerging to cascade down through Cheddar village.

One of the many flood scenes in Locking as the village's main road becomes a waterway.One of the many flood scenes in Locking as the village's main road becomes a waterway.

One of the many flood scenes in Locking as the village's main road becomes a waterway.One of the many flood scenes in Locking as the village's main road becomes a waterway.

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