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Sunshine burns away the awful memories of Hambledon’s flood misery

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FLOODS that caused chaos for three months were a distant memory as a picnic was enjoyed in the sun in Hambledon.

Community spirit once again shone through at an event held in the grounds of Mornington House yesterday.

Cakes and strawberries were enjoyed by scores of villagers, while jazz floated by on the summer breeze.

The afternoon had been organised by the flood action team to recognise the hard work put in by more than 100 volunteers from the village.

Tony Higham, chairman of Hambledon Flood Action Group, said: ‘It is a sort of celebration that the floods are over for 2013/14. We hope they never come back.

‘It was a village effort to get ourselves through that dreadful period of 75 days of flooding.

‘And now we are all dry, it’s a thank you and it’s a day to reflect and remember that there are still a lot of people whose houses were so badly flooded they will not be back in until November or December. It’s a special day, a coming together of the village again.’

During the floods, streets turned to rivers and more than 70 houses were flooded.

Kay Mason lives in one of the worst affected houses, in West Street, which is still drying out.

She spent Sunday manning the barbecue. Mrs Mason, 66, said: ‘The community spirit is great, but they were like this the whole way through.’

Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Roy Perry also stopped by at the picnic. He said: ‘The thing that always stands out in Hambledon is the community spirt.

‘It was here during the floods and it is here again.’

The county council is working with Winchester City Council and the Environment Agency to build a £3.8m pipe, which would help avoid future flooding.

Survey work is underway, but it could take 15 months to build.

 

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