Special service for flood victims

CANDLES to show that the memory of those who died in the tragic 1953 floods still burns brightly will be carried by two children at a special service.Hundreds of people are expected to pack into St John's Church in Felixstowe on Sunday for the memorial event to mark the 50th anniversary of the night 40 people in the town died as a sea surge struck the resort.

CANDLES to show that the memory of those who died in the tragic 1953 floods still burns brightly will be carried by two children at a special service.

Hundreds of people are expected to pack into St John's Church in Felixstowe on Sunday for the memorial event to mark the 50th anniversary of the night 40 people in the town died as a sea surge struck the resort.

Youngsters Simon Corke and Emily Rowe will carry the votive candles as the names are read out of those who died.

Candles will be lit for all the families at the church, where five decades ago a similar memorial service was held and the funerals of some of the victims.

Rev Canon David Lowe and Rev Rod Corke will lead the service at 3pm at the church in Orwell Road.

Mr Corke said that during the service survivors would talk of their experiences.

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"We hope the church will be full – the service is open to anyone to attend and it is a chance for people to come and remember and mark that night which will always live in the memory of this town," he said.

"During the service we will be having a collection and the money will go to the Blue Peter Water Aid appeal.

"This will show that good can come from water, not just tragedy as we had in 1953. That water can be a life-saving thing as well as the appeal sets out to help those people in the world who not have access to fresh water every day.

"We also wanted to involve children in the service because so many children died in the floods."

The weekend of events to mark the floods anniversary starts on Friday night when there will be a midnight vigil in the grounds of Langer Primary School in Langer Road.

It will start at 11.50pm and Felixstowe Salvation Army band will play hymns. There will be a period of silence at midnight and then a survivor of the floods will speak of their memories.

St Edmunds Church, next to the school, will be open for private prayer during the evening.

On Saturday at the Marlborough Hotel, Sea Road, there will be a reunion for people caught up in the tragedy, a chance to swap memories, spend an evening catching up with friends.

n There will also be an ecumenical service of commemoration on February 4 at 7.30pm at St Edmund's church, Southwold, where five people died.

WEBLINK: www.stedmundsbury.anglican.org

* Do you have a vivid memory of the floods? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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