Thamesweb Logo

Histories of Windsor

The Floods of '47

A Contemporary Letter by Mrs Cullingham

Back to The Full Story of the Floods

The following letter was written by Mrs Mollie Cullingham, wife of the former Borough Engineer of Windsor, Gordon Cullingham, to friends and relations during the flooding of 1947. At that time they were living at No 6, Maidenhead Road, Windsor.

6 Maidenhead Road, Windsor

Wednesday, 19th March 1947

I am writing a communal letter, as we are being kept very busy trying to organise ourselves, but thought you would like to know how we are getting on.

The floods reached us on Saturday night, and have been rising slowly ever since. My kitchen and scullery are under water and it will soon be in the hall, bedroom and lounge, We are living in the flat upstairs with Mrs. Marrin and her daughter. Fortunately the other members of her family are no longer living here, so not too cramped.

The water supply is still functioning, gas coming from Slough, but the electricity is off. Coal, bread and milk deliveries are fairly well organised, and it is possible to get into the town either by punt, canoe, landing craft, Army diesel lorries, or amphibious 'ducks' so altogether things might be worse. We usually get wet feet in the process, but no ill effects so far, touch wood.

Mark [Mollie and Gordon's 6 year old son] had a cold before it all started, and of course it is persisting, so I am going to try and get him to Kath [Mollie's sister in law] at Orpington tomorrow. No one near here is in a position to take him, unfortunately.

I am going to stick it out if humanly possible, to look after Gordon who comes in every day for a meal and change and a few hours sleep. He can, of course, get food at the centre of operations, but only snacks, I think. I put down two dozen eggs last week but the ducks (now residing on top of coal shed, and fed through kitchen window) have stopped laying. Also have plenty of meat and other rations, collected yesterday, and if things get no worse we shall be O.K..

I'm afraid the devastation will be terrible, the road has subsided outside here already, useful at the moment, as the punts can come up without grounding, but I'm afraid a lorry will go down unless it is soon marked. I have no real idea of the extent of the flooding, but all low-lying levels are now under water, I believe, all over the town. Fortunately the shopping centre is on the hill, and the G.W.R. is still functioning. Many of the evacuated people have gone to Slough.

Please excuse me for not writing more, but cannot concentrate on it, my brain will probably be paralysed by the time it is all over. It seems like a fantastic nightmare, but suppose things will return to normal in the course of time. Hope you are all well.




Mark, Mollie's son, aged 5, drew the picture and wrote the letter below during the floods. Mark writes that the 'rod' (road) is flooded, as are the 'dux' (the ducks in the garden) and the 'cichin' (kitchen).

Back to Floods of '47

Further reading

The Flood Relief Scheme - Maidenhead to Windsor
The Locks and Weirs of Windsor


Histories Home Page

Windsor Home Page

To contact us, email Thamesweb.