Many interesting things happened in 1994 – the Channel Tunnel opened, Four Weddings and a Funeral hit the cinemas, the National Lottery was born.
And, in Chichester, the new year saw streets flood after the River Lavant burst its banks for the first time in half a century.
These pictures were all published in the Chichester Observer on Thursday, January 6, 1994 and show some hardy souls doing their best King Canute impressions as they attempted to hold back the tide of flood water threatening their businesses.
Others helped those around them – both man and beast – to negotiate the water, while some adopted an ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ attitude to the entire situation.
A somewhat plastic-looking ‘alligator’ was wrestled as it attempted to breach a wall of sandbags; and one wag erected a sign informing passing motorists they could purchase a fishing licence.
Geoffrey Martin was pictured carrying his dog through the flood water – not much exercise for the pooch but no doubt Mr Martin worked up a sweat!
In North End Road, near Barnham, gallant Philip Fogden hoisted Debbie Lawrence on to his shoulder as he waded through the deluge.
The river burst its banks where it crossed a disused building site, sending huge quantities of water into The Hornet and New Park Road.
And, while sandbags prove useful in many a situation, staff at some shops, cafes and pubs found themselves having to bale out.
The Observer reported the damage could have been much worse had it not been for the efforts of firefighters, who pumped water away from the river at Westhampnett, lowering it by nine inches.
This wasn’t the first time flooding had greeted the new year in Chichester. In January 1970, divers were sent into the tunnel under Market Avenue to find out what had caused that year’s flood.
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