Heartrending in stories in flood book

HEARTRENDING stories and anecdotes of the horrendous night in 1953 when the great flood struck Felixstowe have been gathered in a book.Dick Moffat, 56, who describes himself as an editor of the book, Felixstowe Flooded: 1953, rather than the author, was given the inspiration for his project when he was teaching English at Deben High School, Felixstowe.

HEARTRENDING stories and anecdotes of the horrendous night in 1953 when the great flood struck Felixstowe have been gathered in a book.

Dick Moffat, 56, who describes himself as an editor of the book, Felixstowe Flooded: 1953, rather than the author, was given the inspiration for his project when he was teaching English at Deben High School, Felixstowe.

A pupil brought in a hand-written story of a woman's experience during the night of the floods. The piece was studied by the class and was eventually used as an examining paper.

The story was of Doris Watkins, a pregnant mother who was living in the pre-fabs in Langer Road at the time, she had to swim to get out of a window in her house and survive the freezing cold night waiting for someone to rescue her and her family.


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Two to three years ago Mr Moffat, who owns a bookshop in Orwell Road, Felixstowe, decided to create an anthology of memories.

Mrs Moffat, of Foxgrove Lane, Felixstowe, started interviewing different people about their memories and hunted around for photographs, until he finally had a large enough compilation to create a thorough account of the night including a detailed description of how and why it happened.

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He said Doris Watkins' recollection was the most traumatic memory included in the book but his favourite light-hearted recollection was from Charlie Loomes. Charlie and his girlfriend had been blissfully unaware of the chaos outside his parent's home in Felixstowe. He found that the bottom floor of the home was flooded and decided to move all the food and cooking implements upstairs to safety. His girlfriend then spent much of the night looking after him by cooking him night-time snacks.

Mr Moffat, a father of two, who is selling his new publication from his shop, Poor Richard's Books, said he had many more stories left over which he was sorry he could not fit in to the book.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1953 East Coast floods disaster, the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Times have published a special 36-page edition. The supplement is available today, priced £1, it is packed with exclusive pictures and looks at how the tragedy struck Suffolk and Essex and the stories of that dreadful night.

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