Walford Street Newport, Flooded, May 28 1931

Photo reference number: 1954

Postcard view.

From the private collection of Patrick White.

The Monmouthshire Canal and the Malpas Brook loop around this part of Newport - Goodrich Crescent and Walford Street, off Malpas Road. Very heavy rainfall caused the canal to overflow into the brook which was already in flood.

The following report appeared in the Daily Herald on Friday 29th May 1931:


In the widespread storms which broke over the country, and especially in the West and in South Wales, enormous damage was done to property, houses being flooded, rivers bursting their banks, buildings struck by lightning.

Happily, in spite of the violent weather, only two lives were lost?

Thousands of pounds damage was done at Newport, Mon. People in the low-lying suburb of Malpas road were hurried out of bed by men clad in bathing costumes, who swam from house to house warning them that three or four feet of water had swept into the street.

They later borrowed a boat and plied round the district with provisions for stranded occupants.

Some folk took shelter in the police stations.

The Monmouthshire canal burst its banks and swelled a brook which wrought havoc in a haulier's yard, part the yard being swept away."

While in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, on the day after the storm, there was the following report:



Lightning Havoc: Gas Main Explodes.


Two lives were lost and enormous damage done in the storm floods which, in the early hours of yesterday, inundated a great area of South Wales, Monmouthshire, and the West of England.

Cardiff, Ely, Abergavenny, Blaenavon and Monmouth suffered very heavily, and one effect of the torrents of rain was to wash tons of debris on to a main line of railway, cutting off one part of Wales from its communication with the Midlands and the North of England.

At Cardiff, where - as reported in the Sheffield Telegraph yesterday - the storm broke late at night, and continued until the morning, residents yesterday were engaged in clearing their shops and homes mud and water. The fire brigade was called to help in this work.

Hundreds of allotmenteers around the city yesterday discovered their dead pigs and poultry floating on the flood waters, and damage to neighbouring farms is very serious.

At the height of the storm a gas main in Richmond Road, Cardiff, exploded, and tons of masonry were hurled against the neighbouring premises, doing considerable damage.

Man and Woman Drowned.

At Abergavenny a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Vaughan, was drowned. She lived in a street which was flooded to a depth nearly ten feet, and gallant efforts were made to save her by a constable who swam with her from her house. She lost her hold of him and sank in the flood waters.

An old man, Thomas Ravenhill, was drowned at Blaenavon. He had waded into the water and was seen to disappear into a hole in the street. His body was recovered 100 yards away.

Undermining of the railway bridge at Ponthir, near Newport, cut off all rail communications with Newport from the Midlands. A workmen's train was derailed when it ran into a mountain landslide at Hafodyrynys. The driver was injured and the men were badly shaken.

Glyntillery Colliery was swamped, and surface offices and buildings were washed away.

Tons of debris blocked the main railway line to the North of England, and portions of the line were swept away. A huge landslide occurred at Clydach, near Abergavenny.

Furniture Floating in Streets.

At Ely, flood prevention works, which had cost many thousands of pounds, were swept aside by the storm waters, and, as a consequence, some streets were transformed into rushing river courses and houses were inundated, the occupants being imprisoned in upper rooms while some of their furniture was floating about in the streets.

In Monmouthshire bridges were swept away, cattle, sheep, and chickens were drowned, telegraph poles fell across main roads in the valleys, bus and rail services were wholly suspended, and communication was rendered impossible in most places.

Monmouthshire canal burst its banks in three places, and there were floods at Crosskeys, Cwmcarn, and Newport, where dwellers in a large low-lying suburb were aroused in the early morning by men in bathing costumes who, later, took a rescuing boat to the inundated area. A horse-drawn trolley also plied with passengers who were removed to safety."