THE Severn has been much in the news this week, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

Still if you live in a city on the banks of a river you have to take the rough with the smooth. All those lazy, hazy days in summer going for shady walks along the towpath or watching rowing crews and swans, have their counterbalance in winter when it floods.

It has been ever thus in Worcester and while some measure of protection can be put in place, the force of nature will bite you in the bum every time. As we know only too well here at our soon-to-be-vacated HQ in Hylton Road. We are off to Red Hill at the top of London Road and if the waters ever get that high then we’ll all be in trouble.

In fact Hylton Road used to flood on a very regular basis until a bund was built about in the early 2000s and I can recall several instances of bundles of newspapers hot off the press having to be ferried up the steep path at the back of the building to delivery vans waiting in Henwick Road because the water at the front was too deep.

In our “floods file” we have several images of Hylton Road in full flood and a couple are reproduced here. Although undated, I reckon they are from the 1950s. Love the shot of the boatload, although where they have come from and are going to is not clear, while it’s also not clear whether the chap with the box is trying to feed the swans or catch one for the family’s Sunday lunch. Only joking.

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There is a sepia print which is said to be “the earliest known photograph of the riverside at Worcester”, showing North Quay. The legend on the back says that it was taken in 1860.

Another of South Quay looks distinctly Edwardian and has the tracks of the rail line which ran from Pitchcroft along the riverside and through the river bridge to what is today Brown’s restaurant but back then was a hop warehouse.

Warehouses once lined the river south of the road bridge, but most of the buildings – together with the warren of housing that surrounded them – have long gone and the land given over to Copenhagen Street car park and what is now called the Heart of Worcestershire College or in old money, Worcester Tech. There’s also a shot of river barges and tugs working below Diglis Lock in the early 1900s.

Finally, one of the earliest known examples of a selfie. On a freezing cold day in the winter of 1966, Worcester Evening News photographer Brian Peplow took himself out of our newly opened offices and pictured himself pointing across a frozen Severn at the new grandstand on Pitchcroft racecourse. Recognise the cap, Pep, and only sorry you couldn’t find a pretty girl prepared to leave the warmth of the advertising department!