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You can’t keep a good spring down! Plum Pudding strikes again!

Published: 25th March 2018 11:42

Plum Pudding spreads water on our road again! (2015)Plum Pudding spreads water on our road again! (2015)
Plum Pudding is the delightful old name of a fresh water spring that used to bubble to the surface close to the road at the entrance to Abthorpe coming from the direction of Towcester. The spring water was previously channelled through an open culvert parallel to the road to join a stream close to our village entrance sign. If the culvert back then ever became blocked, a villager would take a spade and shovel and clear the blockage. Simple, effective technology!
Around 35 years ago as part of a road improvement scheme an underground culvert was provided for Plum Pudding, but she didn’t like being confined in subterranean darkness and has regularly broken free of her shackles ever since to spew water over the road.
Around Christmas 2006 heavy vehicle damages the culvert and the spring’s water again flooded the road. Encouraged by our then County Councillor Ben Smith, the Head of Construction Services for Messrs Atkins a contractor for Northamptonshire County Council stated that, “ We have been unable to motivate AWA (Anglian Water ) into confirming or otherwise their responsibility with regards to the water discharge..... Excavations revealed that the water is the result of a spring. We have now connected the water into a new French drain. This should address the situation.”
It didn’t! In July 2013 Plum Pudding flooded the road again. It took contractors some time to rectify the problem as one villager realised they were digging in the wrong place. In the autumn of 2015 an officer of Abthorpe Parish Council stated that he was aware that heavy vehicles travelling over the culvert at the road side seem to have yet again partially blocked the culvert. He said that everyone is aware that unless the leak is repaired before the onset of the cold weather there could be a layer of dangerous ice on the road surface at the approach to our village.
This year his predictions proved to be correct. Plum Pudding broke loose once again just before the recent cold spell and spread a film of water over the road surface. When the temperatures dropped  well below zero, although the through road was dry and ice free, Plum Pudding’s water froze. Fortunately there were no accidents – this time!
You can’t keep a good spring down! This problem will keep on recurring, year after year. Is it the time to revert to simple, effective technology?

John RIches


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