Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.

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

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

Britannia Primary School’s football team are cheered by their classmates while carrying their Southern Championship trophy that earned them a place at the finals in Wembley.

Ipswich Town may have failed to reach the play-offs – but a Suffolk primary school will today realise a dream and play at Wembley in a national cup final.

Police evacuated Gusford Primary School in Ipswich after a bomb threat. It was later confirmed to be a hoax

Parents have praised an Ipswich primary school for its quick action after a hoax bomb threat yesterday morning.

Lord Framlingham - Sir Michael Lord - joined Vote Leave supporters in Ipswich.

With the date of the EU referendum now less than four weeks away, supporters of both sides in the battle over the UK’s future have been taking their campaign to the streets.

Colchester General Hospital

An “exciting” new multi-million pound state-of-the-art department will be built at Colchester General Hospital as it becomes a regional centre for medical tests.

Pupils from Kyson school, Woodbridge take time out from usual lesson to build dens.

Suffolk primary school pupils ended their half term with a two day den-building adventure this week transforming piles of rubbish into creative constructions complete with drawbridges, furnishings and secret tunnels.

Carol Turgoose with volunteers at the foodbank in Halstead

Opticians across Essex and Suffolk have given a boost to charities supporting poverty-stricken families in the area.

Suffolk fisherman Harry Simper

A young Suffolk fisherman has netted himself a national award.

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO outside Heveningham Hall. Picture: Cameron Maynard/Aperto Photos.

An 18th Century Suffolk mansion has announced plans to host a gathering of rare classic cars as part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of its annual country fair.

BBC's Springwatch has arrived in Minsmere Nature reserve for the third year.
Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.

A new Springwatch star is likely to be born at RSPB Minsmere in the next three weeks to capture the hearts of millions of viewers in the same way that a hapless little fish did during last year’s immensely popular BBC nature showcase series.

Gina Long celebrating with the family on receiving her MBE

Three community heroes from Suffolk were honoured for their selfless work and made an MBE by Prince Charles.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24