Youngsters ‘dived from the top of bus shelters into deluge below’

High tide in Leyland - pics by Ken Chapman
High tide in Leyland - pics by Ken Chapman
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After a particularly wet summer, it’s easy to dismiss the weather as a ‘freak’ occurrence.

But proving the Great British Summer has always held its fair share of surprises is this picture taken in Leyland’s Chapel Brow in the 1980s.

Last week we appealed for information on when this picture was taken on behalf of Ken Chapman, who was leafing through old slides when he found this picture of the street under a deluge of water.

Following the appeal, eagle-eyed Guardian readers replied in their droves, and we can now reveal the very wet picture was taken in the summer of 1987.

Trevor Tunstall, who lives in Leyland, recalled the event and the ‘catastrophic’ damage it did to his parents’ house on neighbouring Fleetwood Street.

He said: “My mum and dad lived in Fleetwood Street, off Chapel Brow, at the time.

“As the water was rising I was on the phone to my mum as she was panicking about the rising levels.

“She was on the phone when she shouted ‘its in the house’.

“On hearing this I jumped in the car to go and see what I could do.

“This was to no avail as by the time I arrived the water was three feet up the wall.

“You have never seen such a mess.

“It happened so quickly and there was no time to save anything, it was all under the water.

“The water was contaminated with all sorts of unpleasant materials and I suspect it wasn’t too healthy.”

But the smells didn’t deter local youngsters who took the chance to dive from the top of the street’s bus shelters into the water below.

Trevor said: “The kids where jumping off the top of the bus shelter into the water on Chapel brow and swimming about in it.

“The damage caused was, to say the least, catastrophic for the residents.

“A lot of the older people did not have insurance so it was even worse for them.

“It took us several weeks to repair the damage. The culvert under Chapel Brow was the cause.

“Very soon after this event Fleetwood Street and Chapel Brow where dug up, top to bottom, and a new larger diameter culvert was installed to stop a further event like this from happening.

“So far this appears to have been successful.”

Guardian reader Daryl Snape also recalled the event, saying: “If it’s the time I’m thinking of, people were filmed jumping into the water from the top of the bus stop at the bottom of Chapel Brow.

“The flood featured on the TV news that night before Match Of The Day!”

Steve Fifoot said: “There was a huge, prolonged thunder storm in the Chorley area that saw many local areas flooding, including the roundabout in Leyland by Chapel Brow.

“Local news footage on TV saw people diving off the top of a bus shelter into the water that was around five to six feet deep.

“Croston, Eccleston and Charnock Richard were also flooded.”

Local newspapers also ran stories on a hairdressers at the bottom of the street, carrying the headline ‘Cut and Dried’.