Heavy rainfall this week has caused the floods to return, but the deluge has not dampened the spirits of Hampshire residents.

Many villages around Winchester are on flood alert, but in true-Brit style, householders are holding on to their sense of humour.

Alan Marsden, chairman of St Mary Bourne Parish Council has put a sign out side his house offering jet skis for hire. "I think it's a symbol of how the community is helping each other with good humour in difficult circumstances," he said.

Mr Marsden met with the Environment Agency on Wednesday to see if the High Street, the main road through the village of St Mary Bourne, near Andover, could be reopened because the water levels had stabilised despite the wet weather on Tuesday.

Some properties had been affected by sewage and floodwater combined, due to a sewage pipe that had burst through sheer volume of water, but Mr Marsden said not many properties had suffered, thanks to the prompt action of residents, Basingstoke Borough Council, Southern Water and the Environment Agency.

Other places affected include the village of Bramdean, near Winchester. Parts of the A272 running through it are flooded. However, the water levels have receded.

Flood warden and parish councillor, Jeffery Edwards, said: "We are watching the water levels very carefully because of the recent rainfall.

"Although we don't have any serious problems at the moment, water backs up in the fields and can cause a delayed effect, so we may have problems later on.

"Hampshire County Council and the Highways Authority have been absolutely wonderful. They have responded quickly to calls for help and are making sure barriers and signs are up to warn people. There has been no recurrence of internal flooding along the A272 yet."

But with more rain forecast for Sunday, those areas already flooded and those likely to flood are bracing themselves for more trouble.