The words you never want to hear

Filed in Blog by on September 9, 2009 4 Comments
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Boscastle, August 16th 2004 during the flooding

Boscastle, August 16th 2004 during the flooding

Pass to all emergency services. This is a major incident. I repeat This is a major incident. We require all standby aircraft available and all available land-based emergency crews as we are in danger of losing Boscastle and all the people in it.”

Message to RAF kinloss Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre from Captain Pete McLellant (Royal Marines) flying above Boscastle, on August 16th 2004.

On that day, Mother Nature unleashed one of Britain’s worst rainstorms over the hills above Boscastle. And we were standing right there, along with thousands of other people,  when she did.
Although we didn’t realise it at the time, this is where the seeds were sown for My Zero Waste.

For National zero waste week, we decided to revisit the place it all began. Tomorrow I’ll share the full story with you.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. It must have been terrible to seeing the whole essence of a community under immediate threat, all happening before your very eyes. The fear and the helplessness must have been horrific. It really brings home what people experience in other areas of the world, which are also affected by the impact of climate change. I hope that despite your memories, you were able to have a lovely relaxing holiday. 😀

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    I am enjoying a cup of spearmint tea, Zero Waste of course. This was brewed from a handful of leaves cut off a garden plant . The plant itself came from cousin Brian, who also dealt with Anna’s estate. The tea has a mild flavour, unsweetened, and addition of sugar, milk or honey is suggested. Hirsute ladies are supposed to benefit from a few drinks so I will check male stubble over the next couple of days.

    Boscastle was a memorable event on TV so the reaction to being there at the time is understandable. Freak events do happen usually due to a mixture of circumstances ie steep sided valleys and excessive local rainfall in this case. Such near death experiences can be life changing, as seems to have happened with your family.

    It will be great to revisit the scene of what is a fragile location compared to most.

  3. Sarah says:

    I find myself watching these Natural disasters and they’re blamed on freak conditions, but I wonder just how much damage we’re doing to our fragile ecosystem.

    Horrific to be there as it was happening, thinking of you.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Thanks Mrs A – you’re right; I remember thinking about the people affected by the tsunami for ages after that – we don’t really see much in this country compared to some areas of the world….
    Fortunately this holiday was much lower key and uneventful!

    @John Costigane: Hi John, mint tea is good; especially when self harvested. I hope the beard continues to grow well.
    We did some filming for National Geographic a few months after the event at Boscastle; it was still pretty much in ruin then, but now things are almost back to normal and the scars are healing.

    @Sarah: I think there is no such thing as a ‘freak weather’ incident Sarah; like you I put it down to an imbalance in nature – often caused by man.

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