The Floods in Denaby and Conisborough – Friday

May 1886

The Floods in Denaby and Conisborough


The scene of flood in the Mexborough district on Friday was such as had not been known for upwards of 20 years

The pigs and poultry in the yard were saved from drowning by some owners, whilst others were seen carried away by the flood. Between Mexborough and Denaby the Don overflowed its banks to such an extent that at an early hour recovered not only the intervening meadows and farmland, but amalgamated with the canal, forming one vast expanse of water.

The fears of the railway authorities at midnight on Thursday that the flood might encroach upon the line only proved too well-founded, for the water not only cover the metals, but dashed against the embankment with such fury as to threaten its annihilation for a considerable distance in the neighbourhood of Denaby stop

The highway and railway at Denaby being so deeply flooded the workmen could not proceed from Mexborough to their work at the colliery, and the clerk’s, one hoped to reach the pit premises by walking up the line, looked in vain for the waters to recede. The miners leaving the pit been unable to return to Mexborough by the ordinary room, made a circuitous journey to Denaby, hoping by this means to get home. But the flood successfully isolated them, and they could make no advance beyond a certain path leading to the ferry – which was of course so swollen as to be accessible. Seeing the extremity in which the miners were placed, the plate layers on the line formed a raft consisting of a number of sleepers, by which they could ferry themselves in twos over the flooded fields. The men reported that about our past eight they were drawn up, owing to the water entering the up cast and downcast shaft through an old culvert.

A visit to the railway afternoon on Friday showed that the flood had still further risen, and washed away the embankment, and that near the Ironbridge skirting the river, the bank for a distance of about 20 yards had given way. The flood poured over the opening with tremendous force, and the water, which already lay this side of the line, quickly extended further over the land. In one respect it was fortunate perhaps that the embankment did give way, for the flood was already level with the bridge, and but for this release the structure might have seriously suffered.