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Age of Victoria Podcast

November 4, 2023 @ 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

​Disaster at the Dam! The Great Sheffield Flood 1864

The Great Sheffield Flood was one of the most devastating disasters in Victorian England. In this talk, we’ll be uncovering the story behind the tragic flood that wrecked the city of Sheffield in 1864. Join me at Intelligent Speech as we look at how poor planning and maintenance led to a breach in the Dale Dyke dam, sending a tsunami of water crashing through the Loxley Valley into Sheffield’s bustling industrial center. I’ll describe the widespread destruction as homes, factories, and lives were washed away in the churning floodwaters. You’ll hear about the desperate attempts to save the dam as well as first-hand accounts of the harrowing survival stories from those who lived through the catastrophic event. With damage estimates over £100 million in today’s money, we’ll detail how the Sheffield Flood spurred major improvements in dam safety and urban planning. From the overlooking the early warning signs to the post-flood recovery efforts, this fascinating talk will give dramatic insights into both the immediate aftermath and lasting legacy of one of the worst disasters in Britain’s industrial era.​ I will also use my experience in national emergency contingency planning to give you insights into how large scale disasters can be planned for, and what was missing that fateful night.


November 4, 2023
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm