M5 and floods

Ignoring the sound advice of Alun Rees to stay at his place – I valiantly struggled down the A1, M1, M42, M6 and on to the M5 – just in time to get caught between the two burst rivers.

Left Bawtry in Yorkshire at 4.00pm, arrived at Strensham Services about 10.30pm, to find that all exits were flooded – no way out – along with thousands of others, mainly holiday-makers on the first evening of the summer vacation.

After queuing for food I slept in my car until 12.30am – waking to find even more chaos around me.

I drove out of the maintenance exit from the service station and, after 3 failed attempts to escape which left me stranded on flooded roads – I eventually took a chance and drove through the fourth flood and on in to Herefordshire, then Tewksbury, where the river had burst it’s banks into the town and RAF Sea-King helicopters were rescuing campers from their vehicle rooftops in the field around us.

More orienteering on my part brought me cross-country to Gloucester at about 1.45am and back on to a deserted M5 southbound.

I arrived in Falmouth at 4.30am, 12-1/2 hours after I started my journey.

I noticed on the TV news this morning that those who stayed in the service station were still there until mid-morning.

The pleasures of business travel.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.