So yesterday’s plan to stay in all day reading Harry Potter didn’t go as planned. Stratford had a little rain overnight:

Isolated lock gates Overflow parking Pedestrians please user other footpath

Presumably business isn't brisk A sewer urchin attempts to escape Wading away from home

Sheep Street from the other side Bancroft Fountain Rose Garden and Clopton bridge

Here’s a before/after of the basin:

Busy busy Flooded gardens

which is pretty bad, but further downstream it was crazy:

Pre-flood Lucy's Mill bridge Lucy's Mill bridge - 2

Not being one of the people who has to clear up, I found it very interesting. Plenty of kids, and some families, were having a great time splashing through the water on the main street, and the residents walking from their houses in wellies seemed in good spirits. These lads asked if I’d take their picture:

Kids in the river - 1

I emailed them a copy, although the initial address bounced back and I guessed at a correction, so hopefully they received it…I was also impressed by and jealous of this couple:

Flood dancing couple - 4

A passing child asked its mother why this was happening. The mother replied that it’s the kind of thing that happens after people have had too much to drink. Which might be true, although I prefer to think they were just having fun, but nevertheless they could actually dance. The cha-cha, unless I was mistaken. A salsa, I’m told. Isn’t that lovely? It was the best thing I saw all day 🙂

Flood dancing couple - 12 Flood dancing couple - 7 Flood dancing couple - 15

The BBC and various other organisations were filming, and there were crowds everywhere. I saw a canoeist set sail from the bandstand in the centre of town and finish a mile or so downriver.

Today the waters had receded from the main street, but parts of the basin and most of the far side of the river was still pretty bad:

Swimming in the evening sunlight My Gosh The RSC is open

and they were pumping out the Swan Theatre. My uncle lived here for ten(?) years and said he’d never seen the theatre flooded. I bet nobody thought it’d happen in July. Thankfully the waters didn’t quite make it to the Courtyard Theatre, so the RSC hasn’t had to close down completely1. It hasn’t rained in the past 36hours that I’ve noticed, so hopefully the worst is over. The entire set of pics is here.

  1. the main RST is closed until 2010; the Swan Theatre is in the same building, hence the flooding []