Monday, 22 April 2013

Cockermouth

I haven't shown you the village yet, so will end this trip with that.  Cockermouth is a colourful little village where the River Cocker joins the River Derwent.  Given the village name I was, like many people, expecting it would be on the coast; that it would be at the 'mouth' of the Cocker where it flowed into the (she quickly double checks Google maps) Irish Sea.  As it turns out, a 'mouth' can also flow into a river, lake or reservoir.  Who knew?  













At the bottom of the street is the pub:  The Bitter End...





Being located where two rivers conjoin is a big disadvantage in times of flood.  Everywhere we visited, there were lines marked on the outside and inside of buildings showing the level that the flood of 2009 had reached.  It must have been awful. Floods are the main natural disaster Britain has (I gather there are some 'baby' tornadoes and the occasional mud slide).  Fortunately, most of the buildings in Cockermouth are built of stone.  













I don't know what the place was like before 2009, but we formed the impression that the village had re-invented itself and gone slightly upmarket. We've watched Tynemouth change from a relatively mundane place (well, any mundane place on a coast with an 11th century castle and priory).  Tynemouth Front Street is now very tourist orientated and to a certain extent, so is Cockermouth.   Then again, so is the entire Lake District.




The River Cocker



We saw a number of flood barriers that impressed Bill.  I think it would be quite hard to trust that your home or business wouldn't flood again.  I'd be inclined to put anything I valued on the upper floors!






I thought Cockermouth was a nice mix of history, charity shops, upscale gift and baby shops, an old and a new book store and a handful of antique shops.  I could almost imagine us living there, but on reflection, I like where we are:  a few miles out of Newcastle, on a hill, 25 feet above the River Tyne, which flows freely into the North Sea.

8 comments:

Carolyn said...

A lovely village. It would have been really interesting to see some of the flood lines you mentioned in some of your photos here :) How high did the floods get to?

Shelley said...

Carolyn - Good point! I never thought about photographing any of those...9-10 feet is about the highest I remember, most of the ground floor in many places. Will try to remember next time to document it!

vintagefrenchchic said...

I love villages like this. Reminds me of traveling through Scotland.

Is everyone flooding everywhere? We have flood watches and warning going in Western Michigan. The Grand River has crested and already caused much damage. My little "village" is surrounded by the Kalamazoo River but so far we are safe. : )

Shelley said...

Heather - I do hope you manage to stay high and dry! I know we talk about 'global warming' but it seems to me just more about 'extreme weather'.

D A Wolf said...

What fun to visit these locales through your posts. Such a different world.

Shelley said...

D.A. - I'm very pleased you enjoy these posts. They are the sort of thing I would have enjoyed seeing when I lived in the States and it is why I share them.

Beryl said...

As sweet a town as Cockermouth looks, I would prefer to be 25 feet up a hill to down in the center. I was told that north of Tulsa had its share of floods, which amazed me, but no markings on building of how high. Very wise to have the buildings made of stone in a flood area.

Shelley said...

Beryl - Bill tells me we must be 24 meters up, but never mind. Fingers crossed we won't get floods. I'm surprised about north of Tulsa as well. I think the stone is likely to be local material more than forethought about flooding, but you never know. Most disasters affect the poorer people, but in Britain flooding mostly affects the affluent, who like to live near rivers. Planning authorities (who grant permission to build) and insurance companies have wised up in the last decade since repeat flooding seems to be almost normal. I always heard that Eastern Oklahoma had fewer tornadoes touch down because it was hilly. Not sure if that's true, though.