4 JANUARY 1930, Page 20


It has not been realized in the great floods of last December how great has been the contrasting rainfall in the West and East. "The forecast has almost always been wrong in relation to us," I was told by an observer who lives on the great eastern plains. The happy counties of Cambridge, Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk and even their inland neighbours enjoyed very many sunny hours when the prognosticated rain was falling elsewhere. In consequence the Ouse, Nene and Welland did not receive such superfluity of rain as the valleys of the Thames, the Wey, the Severn and the little rivers of Somerset. One reason is that the chalk springs, especially of the Chilterns, are always slow to recover from drought. They were much below their normal up to Christmas Day or thereabouts, and then rose with surprising suddenness. To give one example, the upper reaches of the Lea did not overflow their banks till December 27th.