East Coast Floods 1953

On the evening of January 31st and the morning of February 1st 1953, the East Coast of Britain suffered one of its worst tragedies when a disastrous flood caused death and destruction. The combination of gale force northerly winds and exceptionally high tides caused havoc from Yorkshire through to Kent. When it subsided, hundreds were dead (65 in Hunstanton alone), thousands were homeless and over 50,000 animals were killed. Fire Brigades from all over the country helped to pump out damaged properties and the College was a temporary home for a Section of the Lancashire Fire Brigade.

Hazel Leveridge kept these clippings and the signatures of some of the firemen, which are on the Autographs page

David Spinks remembers one effect of that wild night:

"The North side of 26 was damaged by flying debris on the night of the Great East Coast Gales and Floods and gaping holes were pierced in the North side of the Dorm. The strange thing is that Brin Turner and myself slept on this side in a side room during this year and it was only two or three metres away from one of those gaping holes. Even stranger, neither of us can recollect with any great certainty why the events of that night are not very clear in our minds; whether we were in residence even, or were perhaps on half term. He is almost sure we were there in residence on our own for an event that might have been taking place over the half term and which caused us to stay behind, so why do we not remember the impact which must have been considerable?  He suspects we slept through it and that the event in question was a trip to Wembley to see a schoolboy soccer international. I will research this further.  He remembers cycling to Sea Palling from his home at Ingham to view the damage which would suggest we were at home at some time during the emergency.  Remember we did not go home other than Hols & Half Terms."

Contents The Gallery Press Coverage East Coast Floods 1953