Anyone working or living in Richmond, Surrey, is used to the river Thames lapping over the riverside roads and paths. The White Cross pub even has a sign showing the high tide entrance. Yet few high tides have ever come close to January 1928.
On Wednesday, I was walking along Richmond riverside when I saw the familiar mark on the wall. Then it clicked.
7.1.1928: 87 years ago to the day I took this photo. It was the day London suffered its last major floods. Fourteen people drowned and the embankments of central London overflowed. The House of Commons and Westminster Hall were flooded. The moat at the Tower of London was filled for the first time in 80 years. It took the 1953 floods before any serious action was taken, resulting in the Thames Flood Barrier that opened in 1984.
The 1928 floods followed heavy snow over Christmas 1927. The BFI archive includes a wonderful film of that white Christmas: