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Author Topic: Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary  (Read 11479 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 11:37:30 »
I've just realised that the flood occurred on a Saturday/Sunday night, so we wouldn't have gone to work next day - that would have put a different complexion on how we heard the news. We still can't remember, though :)
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Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 09:31:01 »
Re lack of communication in the 1953 flooding..

I have just read an article in "Bygone Kent" by W. H. Bishop (Volume 9 number 4, page 187) who was a police officer living at Ramsgate but working in Margate at the time of the flood. He left Ramsgate at 9.20 pm to arrive at Margate by 9.45 pm to start his shift, his method of transport was his pedal cycle and his journey was exhausting due to the ever increasing gale force winds. There had been no warnings at the station and once on his beat the only inkling he had that something was wrong was the lack of cars and pedestrians coming out of Margate. He states there were no emergency plans in place, flood warnings had not been formulated then, and the Civil Defence organisation was not alerted prior to the flood and the station knew nothing of the dangers that lay ahead. As he headed towards his beat he says the winds were as strong as a typhoon he encountered on a cruiser in the China sea but was still not aware of what lay ahead. To cut a long story short he tried two Police box to contact the station whilst on his beat and also a public box but the lines were out, and then as he approached the junction of Trinity Hill and King Street he was confronted with a huge turbulent river of muddy water and debri, he stood there motionless thinking he was hallucinating or in a dream at what he saw before him. This was his first knowledge of the flood!

Offline peterchall

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Re: Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 21:27:53 »
The reference in that report in cliveh's post to lack of communication hits the nail on the head Ė itís difficult in these days of the internet, i-Phones and live TV from the other side of the World to realise just how out of touch we were in those days.

I was working at Ballís Garage at the top of Barnsole Road, Gillingham, and my wife of 9 months was working at Lefevres, Gillingham, we were living at Fort Clarence, Rochester, and our families lived away from the sea. So neither of us can remember how we heard about the disaster Ė we didnít have TV, and my wife thinks one of us bought a newspaper on the way home from work. But we had a radio, so probably heard of it on the evening news. We would not have seen film of the event until our next visit to the cinema, where we would have seen it on the newsreel. My dad ran a pub and may have heard it from customers, and my father-in-law had a TV (bought with his Demob Gratuity, if it was still going!); but TV news was in its infancy and I doubt if it included outside broadcasts, and itís doubtful if we saw either of our parents on that day. If we did get Ďdirectí news it would most likely have been by my wife talking to customers in the shop Ė we just canít remember.
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Offline smiffy

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Re: Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 18:03:07 »
Makes you think about what the great storm of 1703 must have been like. Estimates of up to 15000 lives lost, although the true figure remains unknown for obvious reasons.

Offline cliveh

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Floods of 1953 - 60th Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 07:04:54 »
Today is the 60th Anniversary of the worst floods of modern times. Some memories from Kent in 1953:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/home/2013/january/31/kents_great_floods_of_53.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-21262231

cliveh

 

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