8th July – Boscastle

When you mention Boscastle to a Brit over 25, the first thing they will say is “that got flooded”, and it did in 2004. Which is also the reason I went to visit it, which is probably the same for everyone else there on the 8th July.

It’s a pretty little town, and will probably be a tourist destination for ever due to the devastating flood that day.

Looking upstream towards the main town.

Looking towards the harbour.The visitor centre which was re-housed after the flood, has a display relating to that day and also video footage of the flood waters ripping through the town. It was an odd experience to be watching the flood waters flowing through and passed the very building I was standing in. From my vantage point I could see the video and back out of the door, to the very serene view of the town.

To give an example of how much water was flowing that day, if you look at my photo above, the water would have reached the top of the hedgerow on the left.

Here’s a video of the flooding: The building I was watching the video in is the one story white one you can see at 37 seconds.

The other reason for visiting Boscastle was the Witchcraft musuem; it had been featured on Sky News in the days following the flood.It was a really interesting place, yes some of it may appear odd but each to their own I suppose! I was quite happy when I saw a ‘Meg & Mog’ book as I used to read (look at the pictures) as a youngster. There are all sorts of artifacts from witches, books, potions, ingredients, costumes etc.

When I got back to the entrance I asked the lady at the counter about the flooding, She was happy to tell me it was her day off that day! However they were open and her two colleagues were able to get out safely, she said that they tried to save some exhibits but as soon as they realised what was happening outside, there just wasn’t time to do so, they just had to get out.

From there I walked down to the harbour, which was nice and peaceful, when the town flooded the cars from the car park at the top end of the town all ended up here. I didn’t actually think about that when I parked!!

On the video playing in the tourist centre, there is a quick shot of a parade of shops, one of these is called Crafty’s. I went in and bought a couple of postcards and asked the man in there about the flooding, although he didn’t own the shop then, he told me that all the shops had been ripped bare by the water. The walls may have been standing but that was about it, everything else had gone. Before I left he pointed out a discrete marker above the door, which marked the water level.

This is the parade of shops. The water level here rose to the top of the witch you can see to the left of ‘Crafty’

A little fact the man in Crafty’s told me: It is known that no people died that day, what is less known is that no domesticated animals died that day either.

I liked Boscastle, although I think it’s a place you go to once and never again; unless you are taking someone for their first visit.