NINETY years ago this week, in December 1929, the waters were subsiding on the worst floods within living memory at that time in Monmouth.

The three rivers – the Wye, Monnow and Trothy – had all overflowed causing serious flooding in the town on December 9. About 300 houses were flooded to a depth of 3-6 feet, residents had to be rescued from their upper floors through the windows into boats, a serious undertaking especially for the old and infirm, in the dark during torrential rain and high winds.

More News

'Prolific' shoplifter jailed and banned from shops in the Abergavenny area

Council tax rise of 4.95 per cent planned in Monmouthshire

Coercive control offences in Gwent exceed 200 according to new figures

For several days the town was cut off, the only traffic on Monnow Street horse and carts and boats – the town was dubbed by newspapers “Venice in Wales” – as boatmen punted up the streets taking supplies to marooned families.

A soup kitchen was opened at Shire Hall and for several nights boys slept in the school in Priory Street, and men in the butter-market hall. The Mayor launched a nationwide Emergency Flood Fund Appeal on behalf of the poorer inhabitants aiming to raise £10,000 for food, clothing and repairs to damaged homes, and the call went out for replacement chairs and sofas.

With the misery so fresh, it seems even stranger to find a photographic postcard of the flooded streets printed with Christmas greetings...