Swaton is a quiet little village of about 80 homes, partially divided by the River Eau, a little stream that meanders down the beck under a bridge and off into the fens. Its full of sticklebacks, eels and small furry creatures that move just slightly too fast for one to identify what they are. Herons and king fishers ply along the banks, as do occasional barn owls.
However, the Eau also floods, normally not too seriously, just the roads with dark static water. Nowadays this causes chaos for passing motorists that ignore the 30mph limit and don't realise early enough to prevent driving straight into the deep water just over the hump back bridge. No risk of injury, just a big bow wave, lots of steam and curses as the drivers struggle from their drenched car to dry land on foot.
The Eau flooding was the start of Egg Throwing in Swaton circa 1322. The Abbot had the chickens and the peasants didn't so he used to give each that attended Church 1 egg as an encouragement to tear themselves away from Channel Fours "Trans World Sport". When the Eau flooded the monks used to hurl the eggs across the swollen river to the waiting Swatonites and the sport of Egg Throwing was born. If the Eau was in full flood and even wider they used to use small trebuchets to go that little bit of extra distance required.
The Eau didn't used to flood very often but during the last 8 years we've had 6 or so once in 25 year events. This, we are assured, is to caused by global warming and has nothing to do at all with the bridge supports put in to make our little old hump back bridge stronger for euro lorries that trudge mournfully through the County in search of vegetables.
The Environment Agency wrote to the WETF HQ last week and advised that they had, following complaints about late warnings, reassessed the flood identification process and very helpfully realigned the sensors to take account of the rapid water level rise. It is now advised that flood warning will arrive about 2 1/2 hours earlier than before. This is good news, as previously they arrived about 1 hour after the flood had covered the road.
This most excellent warning frame will give the villagers more time to set up the video cameras they need to record for "you've been framed" those attempting to drive at speed through the 3 feet of river sitting across the road. There is also a nifty side line for those with tractors to pull them out once filming's complete.
Part 2 tomorrow, in which we discuss the role of "Odd Job Man" and his assistance to Mo with the global warming problem.
Dont forget to vote for Englands Most Unique Event via http://www.eggthrowing.com/
PS If you see locals with cameras, you might want to slow down.