Sawley, apart from the area on higher ground around the parish church, has always suffered from periodic flooding, when the River Trent burst its banks. 

William Smith (born 1854) died in January 1947, two months before the worst flood in 200 years.  But he remembered several disastrous floods; one in the 1850s when 30 sheep were drowned, and 1875 when people who had pigs put them in Towles Close for safety.

In the 20th century Sawley was flooded in May 1932, Feb 1946 and 1947.  

Originally the Erewash Canal had flood gates at Trent Lock but these perished and were not replaced.


1949 Floods - Reedman Road

After the 1947 floods (and a threatened residents’ rate strike) new flood banks were built, joining up the railway embankments. There has been no general flood since then, although the river level has been close to the top of the banks several times.

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