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Memories of 1953 East Coast flood to be retold at exhibition in Mablethorpe

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: October 20, 2012

  • NEVER FORGET: 1953 flood victim Bud Shields recalls his memories of the East Coast flood.

  • ARE YOU PREPARED: Flood wardens Helen Parkhurst and Dennis Lowe for the Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea area at the flooding exhibition at Mablethorpe Community Access Point.

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MEMORIES of the 1953 East Coast flood victims have been retold as part of a special exhibition to encourage people to be better prepared for flooding.

East Lindsey District Council, together with the Environment Agency and emergency planning team, have an exhibition running at Mablethorpe Community Access Point which is encouraging people to sign up for flood warnings and get involved with making flood plans.

The real life stories from the 1953 floods have been retold ahead of the 60th anniversary of the flood which saw 42 people lose their lives.

The display includes photographs and an interactive video featuring communities of Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea who have taken part in flood awareness events on the coast in the last few years.

Emergency planning officer, Steve Eason-Harris said: "The exhibition coincides with the launch of the coastal Make a Call, Make a Plan, being launched on the East Coast. It is part of the ongoing flooding campaign to get communities more involved in planning for floods and helping their communities by volunteering to be flood wardens as well as signing up to Flood Warnings Direct."

Flood wardens Dennis Lowe and Helen Parkhurst said they would like to recruit more voluntary flood wardens from Sutton on Sea, Mablethorpe, Sandilands and Huttoft.

Mr Lowe said: "It is good for the community that the areas are better prepared for flooding and a lot goes on behind the scenes to better prepare the community if flooding happened again."

The exhibition also looks at the improvements to sea defences over the last 60 years.

To sign up for the free flood warnings service, Floodline Warnings Direct, call 0845 988 1188 and visit www.lincolnshireprepared.co.uk

One victim of the 1953 flood, Bud Shields, recalls his memories of the East Coast flood.

"My father had a garage in Trusthorpe Road, Sutton on Sea. I remember it being very cold, dark and windy.

"I remember I had a little car in the workshop and the water brought the car under sand.

"I remember everything was covered in sand and there was no sand left on the beach.

"I helped rescue an old lady. There were huge waves and the water was up to my thighs. I heard a faint 'help' and I saw this old lady.

"I picked her up and carried her and the water knocked me down again.

"I picked the woman up again, Emma Elizabeth Bray, put her over my shoulder and managed to get her to her house. I was later presented with a gift for helping to rescue her.

"We were evacuated for six weeks and when we returned to the house the smell was overwhelming from the sludge inside.

"I am happy now with the sea defences, we've got the best sea defences we could ever have.

"I am quite happy now to go to bed when there is a gale blowing at high tide."

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