I’m alright Jack mentality exists

HAVING recently been directly involved in and affected by the flooding which occurred during the course of last Thursday afternoon and evening, I would like to relate some of my experiences and observations.

I am now retired from a long career in public service and reside in a sleepy corner of Wellfield with my wife who is disabled.

During my career I along with many others in the same profession encountered some dangerous, and I am pleased to say not too many, life threatening situations.

Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the deluge of water which engulfed my and several of my neighbours’ homes.

Thankfully only property was damaged and there was no serious injury caused to the residents in my area, which saw the water rise to dangerous and frightening levels at the bottom of Collingwood Road.

I evacuated my wife and daughter to a friend’s home and stayed within the precincts of my home during the entire incident in order to try to perform a damage limitation exercise, which proved useless, and to maintain a level of household security.

But some of the events I witnessed during this time both disturbed and shocked me.

Numerous gaping spectators with hand held cameras/mobile phone cameras appeared upon the scene and appeared to be amused at the actions of those affected by the waters trying vainly to salvage their treasured possessions from being swept away by the torrent.

I freely admit that at one stage I used language not used whilst drinking tea with the vicar on a Sunday afternoon toward one of these people.

At one stage I had cause to shout warnings to several teenage youths who were wading into waist high fast flowing water which could have easily swept them off their feet. I was met with pure verbal filth which I will most certainly not repeat within this narrative.

But of all of these events what I will remember most are the actions of some

My wife and I count ourselves fortunate to be blessed with some of the best neighbours.

One or two others, alas, did not quite come up to the mark.

I only hope they are never placed in a similar position as I and others were and experience feelings of anguish and I have to say despair.

The council response to our plight was hopeless.

Where were the resources we pay our council tax for?

Once the waters had dissipated and a degree of normality had been restored, more faces appeared as from nowhere to watch over the misery and scene of absolute biblical carnage.

Furniture, carpets and other treasured personal items damaged by the flood waters within my home had to be taken from my sodden home only to be viewed closely by condescending grins.

On one afternoon I counted three so called itinerant metal collectors within my street like predators eagerly awaiting the chance of rich spoils.

Now begins the clear up, the restoration of my what was and will hopefully continue to be my family home.

Things, however, will not be quite the same.

Not in a physical sense. I am disappointed both in the culture in which we live and in many of those who have created that culture. The ‘I’m alright Jack’ mentality still exists.

There are, however, hidden away amongst what is best described as dross, hidden gems which we should treasure.

These are the honest, hard working, caring, compassionate people who we should value greatly.

These are the people I will never forget and hold in high regard. The others, I won’t lose any sleep over.