Slow progress over memorial

DISAPPOINTMENT has been voiced at the slow progress being made to provide a memorial to those who died in the floods of 1953 at Felixstowe.But council officials say the time being taken is necessary and they want to make sure the project is done well and is something of which the town can be proud.

DISAPPOINTMENT has been voiced at the slow progress being made to provide a memorial to those who died in the floods of 1953 at Felixstowe.

But council officials say the time being taken is necessary and they want to make sure the project is done well and is something of which the town can be proud.

Last year the resort marked the 50th anniversary of the tragedy - Britain's worst peacetime disaster when a North Sea surge wreaked havoc - with a reunion, vigil and special church service.

It had been hoped the memorial, a garden and sculpture which will be an oasis of calm and peace in the heart of the area where the flood struck and 40 people lost their lives, would have been in place in the 50th year.


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But now with another anniversary approaching at the end of this month, the memorial is still not in position and it is likely to be several months before it is.

Vicar of Walton, Rev Rod Corke, who suggested the idea of a memorial more than five years ago, said there was still an enormous interest and remembrance of the floods and it was "disappointing" that the memorial had not been built.

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"We are approaching another anniversary and people will again be wondering what is happening to this project," he said.

But town clerk Susan Robinson said the project had involved a great deal of work and excellent progress was now being made.

Work was taking place on detailed designs, a tricky business of taking the artists' work and translating them into drawings from which surveyors could work, and then the project will be formally costed.

Money had been set aside in the town council budget and there were also generous donations, and a lease for the site at Langer Primary School, Langer Road, had been agreed with the county council. It was hoped it could be completed in the next 12 months.

"It is a very sensitive project connected with design and the environment and it is taking time. But we want to make sure that it is right because it is very important and it is going to be there for a very long time," said Mrs Robinson.

"We want it to be a high quality design and something the town can be proud of and which is a fitting memorial to those who were involved in this tragic event."

Felixstowe artists Clare Curtis and Rosemary Humphries have completed the design for the garden and also created a handmade Memorial Book containing the victims' names, which will be kept at the library.

Sculptor Boris Cooper has been working on the design of four-sided metre-high obelisk which will feature images to capture events of the tragic night.

The aim of the memorial is to remember those who died but also the event itself, the terror it wrought and the lasting impact it had on those who survived.

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