Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Floods of 1953: Oldest survivor recalls night of terror when floods swamped Felixstowe

15:30 31 January 2013

Barbara Allen, aged 100,  the eldest survivor of the 1953 floods was presented with flowers by the Mayor of Felixstwe, Mike Deacon at Bellstone Residential Home, Beach Road West, Felixstowe.

Barbara Allen, aged 100, the eldest survivor of the 1953 floods was presented with flowers by the Mayor of Felixstwe, Mike Deacon at Bellstone Residential Home, Beach Road West, Felixstowe.

Archant

NOW aged 100, the oldest survivor of the terrifying night in 1953 when floods swept through south Felixstowe can today still remember the water coming up her stairs.

shares

Centenarian Barbara Allen spoke about the moment the flood – which had smashed through the banks of the River Orwell, sending a wall of water across the marshes – reached her home in Langer Road.

“We couldn’t stay downstairs because the water was rising – we all had to get upstairs as quickly as we could and out of the way of the water,” she said.

“It was very cold, and we stayed upstairs all night just watching the water level until someone came the next day and got us to dry land.

“I was so pleased to be out of the house and know we were all safe.”

Her son Malcolm, who was 12 at the time, said the night had been a bit of an adventure.

He remembered his father Claude looking out of the window and watching a car coming from the Manor House direction.

“The water was halfway up the hubcaps. The people came in and trooped upstairs to front bedroom and we all looked out of the window and watched their car turn around and then its roof was covered with water and it was gone,” he said.

“I remember my parents sitting and watching the water and wondering if we could get into the loft and then out onto the roof. The water stopped one step from the top of the landing.

“I wasn’t frightened at all. I think I was cocooned by my parents, but it was frightening afterwards when we heard about all the people who had died. It was a colossal amount of water which came across the marshes.”

Mayor Mike Deacon and his wife Anne, the mayoress, visited Mrs Allen at the Bellstone Retirement Home, Beach Road West, to present her with flowers on the day of the 60th anniversary of the floods and listen to her memories.

■ Tell us your memories of the floods – write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email starletters@archant.co.uk

shares

1 comment

  • Aged 11 years, I lived at Dock Cottages, opposite the then RAF Felixstowe. I remember water and debris crashing against the walls of the house. We eventually escaped by walking along the railway line from Felixstowe Dock. Like Barbara's son, it was "a bit of an adventure". Am thinking about the 41 people wholost their lives in Felixstowe and the all the others - and the 1800 who died in The Netherlands. I now live in Carlisle but escaped Carlisle's floods in 2005.

    Report this comment

    Keith Adams

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Cherry Tree Inn, in Blackenheath, Colchester, was given a 'one' rating on 6 November 2015

Food safety officers have urged the owners of 28 catering businesses in Colchester to improve their hygiene standards following the most recent round of inspections.

The BP garage on the A134 in Sudbury has been ram raided in the early hours. Reports suggest the ATM has been removed.

A cash machine has been stolen in a ram raid at a petrol station in Sudbury in the early hours of this morning.

Do you know where this church is?

Take a look at our selection of photos - how many Suffolk churches can you identify?

Are you brave enough to try the street-length inflatable water slide coming to Colchester?

A street-length water slide will be coming to Colchester town centre this summer - the perfect opportunity for daredevils to make a splash and support a worthy cause.

Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Man admits child and extreme porn charges

A 32-year-old Leiston man could be facing a prison sentence after admitting possessing pornography involving children and animals.

Southend United fans run onto the pitch towards Colchester United during the match between Southend United and Colchester United at Roots Hall, Southend. 
Picture by Focus Images Ltd
06/02/2016

Police have arrested and charged a man with affray and pitch invasion following an assault.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24