Father and baby dragged under the wild waters of the River Gele in the 1971 Abergele Floods

Lee Rowland Williams has been in touch with Abergele Post to tell his dramatic story as an 18-month-old baby when he and his father, the landlord (from 1967-72) of the Pen y Bont pub  in Abergele nearly drowned during the Abergele Floods of 1971. Here’s his story in his own words:

“My parents Sheela and Hugh Williams , ran the Pen-y-Bont pub on Market Street,
and the only pub that was built over the River Gele and during the flood , a car became stuck under the bridge , therefore causing massive build up of powerful water to engulf our pub.
“My parents decided enough was way too much and with myself (an 18- month-old baby)  my mum and dad and Brian left the pub. Within leaving the speed at which the river was so forceful, my father had me in his arms, but a broken log hit him waist high, and he was knocked underwater with me , into the black water, he couldn’t see me.
“My mum’s heart stopped for what seemed like years. Our friend Brian reacted so fast and, without a second thought, dived under the water and literally grabbed me and raised me up. It sounds dramatic, but it truly was. I went to hospital, but mum tells me that day she saw her only son and husband almost too close to loss, that it’s truly a miracle and also it’s such a huge part of that flood.

“I, Lee Rowland Williams can’t find any archive story of this major story of the history of Abergele. Please help if you can.”

So now Lee’s story is documented on this site. Thanks to him for sharing it.

Looking north along the River Gele towards the Pen y Bont pub during the 1971 Abergele Floods. Photo copyright John Emrys Williams
Looking north along the River Gele towards the Pen y Bont pub during the 1971 Abergele Floods. Photo copyright John Emrys Williams

 

2 thoughts on “Father and baby dragged under the wild waters of the River Gele in the 1971 Abergele Floods

  1. R.E.Brown:

    The Miss Williams who ran the visitor shop two of them I think it was there father who wrote history of Abergele warned that diverting the Gele would cause problems how right he was

  2. Lee rowland Williams:

    Hello, I am just trying to find any more information about the flood during the July day in 1971, I am lee, son of the pen yr bont publicans Hugh and Sheela, I know that many people helped us, My dad had me in his arms leaving the pub at the worst time of the flood but he was knocked down by a tree log, he was knocked down and he was unable to find me, the torrent of water was so strong but a chap called Brian, dived in and managed to catch me, before it ended in tragedy for my parents. I am aware that my dad suffered PTSD ( as it’s known now) but he was affected by this incident to the end.

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