After his treasures were ruined by a flood, Brian May blamed “selfish” basement builders.
After floods from overflowing drains damaged decades of memorabilia at his home, Queen guitarist Brian May has slammed “selfish” homeowners who create mega-basements. On Monday, parts of London were flooded by torrential rain. Mr May, 73, said he returned home to “horror in our house” after receiving an honorary fellowship at Royal Holloway College.
“The entire bottom floor had been overwhelmed with a sewage overflow – which has buried our carpets, rugs, and all kinds of treasured items in a filthy sludge,” he said on Instagram.
It’s revolting, and it’s also heartbreaking. It’s as though we’ve been invaded and desecrated.”
Mr May said that his former EastEnders actress wife Anita Dobson, 72, had kept “a lifetime’s worth of memorabilia” in their basement, “the most of which is sodden and damaged.” He said that “selfish” west Londoners were digging enormous underground extensions that were causing drainage problems.
The unusual flooding, however, was not “related to basement building,” according to Kensington and Chelsea Council.
“I had retrieved all my most beloved childhood photo albums and scrapbooks from my studio house because it was threatened with a forest fire a few months ago,” the artist wrote online.
“Can you tell me where I put everything for safety? Here in Kensington, in the basement. It’s turned into a soggy disaster today.
“I’m heartbroken. This is just material, but when the snapshot fades, it feels like Back To The Future — as if a lot of my past has been erased.
“Kensington has never flooded owing to rains in its 150-year history. What caused this to happen? It’s almost probably the effect of all the basement construction that’s been going on in this neighborhood.
“Kensington and Chelsea Council was told years ago that burying so many deep basement expansions would clog the aquifers beneath our homes and render the drainage system ineffective.”
May also shared video of soiled carpets and damp things.
“Our focus is to ensure that residents who have been affected by flooding receive the assistance they require,” a council spokeswoman said.
“We have put 120 people in emergency hotel rooms and are making emergency repairs,” says the mayor.
Following the intense downpour, flash floods hit numerous London districts, causing damage and disruption. In just one day, parts of the capital were flooded by a month’s worth of rain.
In Kew, south-west London, about 1.9 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”