The Development of the Corner Pin

The area of land known as the Corner Pin was developed for housing from the 1860s. This was part of an ongoing process starting years before in 1838 with the opening of the Wolverton Works.

The London and North Western Railway Company needed to purchase land upon which to house their ever-increasing workforce. When the Radcliffe Trust refused to sell more land in Wolverton, the Company had to look elsewhere, eventually buying land from Earl Spencer, which was situated in Stantonbury. The Company houses were then built between 1854 and 1860.

With the resulting growth in population, it wasn't long before the Corner Pin area became developed too with the creation of Caledonian Road, Wallace Street and Wood Street. By 1907 most of the land between St James' Church and Corner Pin had been built on.

The Floods

The Corner Pin area has been flooded on several occasions, the most serious floods being in 1947 and July 1968. The latter flood is well documented in newspaper reports of the day, with Newport Pagnell, Olney, Stoke Goldington and Emberton.

A heavy cloudburst on the night of Wednesday 10th July 1968 resulted in New Bradwell suffering its worst flooding for many years. An abnormal rainfall of 4.7 inches (about 12 cm!) was recorded in 24 hours at the Wolverton sewage works.
At 8.15 on Thursday morning, British Waterways officials had to open the floodgates to prevent the canal overflowing its banks, creating a surge of water, which poured into the brook.

Unfortunately a 50-gallon water butt had become jammed in one of the relief culverts at Corner Pin and reduced its efficiency by 80%.

The Wolverton and North Bucks Express of July 19th 1968 reported what happened next:

Within two hours the water was in Caledonian Road and Wallace Street, flooding a few kitchens but not causing any real worry.

Then at 10.15 a garden wall in Wallace Street collapsed under the pressure of the flood behind it and a wall of water a foot high raced down the street.

In minutes the streets and Newport Road were inundated as the torrent swept on its way through Corner Pin to opposite St. James' Church. Over 100 houses were flooded, several elderly residents had to be rescued, other people were marooned in upstairs rooms and Dr. M. R. Coster went on his rounds in his son's boat.
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