On the 16th August 2004, Boscastle was hit with one of the most extreme weather events ever experienced in Cornwall. Following very heavy downpours, the river above Boscastle burst its banks and a violent surge of water rushed through the picturesque village. This happened with such ferocity that the water picked up cars and even motor homes and slammed them into buildings. Many of the vehicles were then washed out to sea.

Richfords Fire & Flood, based in Pool, was called in to help out with recovering properties from this disaster. Steven Richford is the owner and recalls:

“This was such an extreme event that it was a miracle no one was killed, although many people had to be rescued by helicopter from their roof tops.”

“One particularly memorable thing was the heavy mud and clay that was left in people’s homes once the flooding subsided. We often see silt and debris in homes, but at Boscastle it was a much heavier material that was washed down the hill from above the village.”

“We were shocked by how quickly the flooding happened. For instance, we attended one property where the occupier had been sitting down to dinner when the water rushed in. His dinner was still on the table surrounded by flood water and debris.”

All the emergency services, along with the military and Red Cross also attended to offer assistance. This was which was of great help – but it also made this incident feel more akin to the types of international disasters we are used to seeing on the news.


For interviews and further information, please contact Michael Cooper 01209 722522 / 07968 175455 michaelcooper@richfords.com