OXFORD City Council signwriters were flooded with work preparing warning signs following a burst water main in Abingdon Road in November 1980.

The council said it had not been able to give early warning to motorists coming from the bypass of the chaos ahead because of a lack of suitable signs.

The busy road leading to the city centre had been closed because of the incident during the morning rush hour causing huge tailbacks.

Deputy city engineer Ron Frampton explained: "Normally, the signs state where the incident is, and you can't make them until you know."

Ray Gough (pictured) was one of the signwriters issued with the urgent task of creating the signs to inform drivers that the road was closed and of the diversion route.