Keynsham and Saltford’s soggy start to 2024

KEYNSHAM and Saltford have been slowly drying out after the New Year floods.

In scenes reminiscent of the start of 2023, roads were rendered impassable, train services cancelled and ‘Somerdale Island’ made a reappearance after being surrounded by water.

The River Avon burst its banks, once again forcing the Lock Keeper pub on Keynsham Road to close as its beer garden and part of its cellar were flooded.

A sign outside the pub announced a “short farewell” to allow refurbishment to take place.

The pub announced on its Facebook page: “Our beautiful Lock Keeper is now closed for an exciting make over.

We’ll miss seeing you all, especially our regulars, but can’t wait to show you the new look when it’s all complete.”

The Keynsham Rugby Club ground was also submerged, providing a temporary arena for paddleboarding and kayaking.

A couple concerned about sewage being discharged from a pumping station off Dryleaze at Somerdale during last year’s January flooding contacted the Voice again to say the problem had reoccurred a year on.

Denise Bruton said: “The original outlet pipe has been capped off, so now it’s pumping the liquid out of the top of the platform by the valve.

“We were aware that Wessex Water had been working in the area during the summer months, but it appears they have not been able to resolve this recurring problem when flood water reached high tide.”

She and her husband Jeff reported seeing several cars stranded in the car park behind Somerdale Educate Together Primary School and that water reached the back of a house overlooking the football pitches on Chandos Road.

Denise said: “The water even managed to reach the concrete marker for what I think is the 1960 flood.”

A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, the very wet weather of recent weeks, which saw the River Avon at or close to record levels, had a knock-on effect on the hydraulic operation of the sewage pumping station at The Hams.

“Our teams have been at the site to assess the issue and, having determined there are no structural defects, we are taking steps to safeguard the station against future such problems.’’

Pictured above, this man needed waders to get to and from his boat moored on the swollen River Avon at Keynsham on January 3.

Below, ‘Somerdale Island’, the beer garden at the Lock Keeper pub, and Keynsham Rugby Club’s ground under water.

Photos by Colin Rayner