Town remembers flood victims

A SINGLE candle was lit in memory of the 41 people who died as floodwaters swept through south Felixstowe 54 years ago.

A SINGLE candle was lit in memory of the 41 people who died as floodwaters swept through south Felixstowe 54 years ago.

Survivors stood for two minutes in silence thinking back to that harrowing night - remembering relatives and friends, recalling the cold and the wind, and the devastation which left a community changed forever.

Trimley Sports and Social Club was packed on Saturday night for a reunion of survivors of the 1953 floods and to see the dedication of a brass plaque bearing the names of those who lost their lives.

The song Somewhere Over the Rainbow was played as the plaque, escorted by members of the Felixstowe Army Cadets, was brought into the hall for the dedication by Rev Canon David Lowe, vicar of St John's Church.

A poem written by Dolores Clover, who was 14 at the time of the flood, was read out. Her words recalled seeing people clinging to roofs, cold and wet in their night clothes.

Ian Heeley, the organiser of the evening, said the plaque would be fixed to the flood memorial, which stands in Langer Road.

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“I think it will finish off the memorial nicely. Several people have said to me over the past year that they thought there was something missing - like a headstone on a grave without any names to say who died,” he said.

“This will mean the commemoration of those who lost their lives is complete.”

He thanked Felixstowe Town Council for allowing the plaque to be added to the memorial.

Mr Heeley said since stories about the plaque appeared on The Evening Star's website, there had been contact, good wishes and donations from survivors of the flood now living in South Africa, America, New Zealand and Australia.

The evening, sponsored by The Evening Star, was attended by around 160 people. It included a buffet, music from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and an auction with lots donated by various businesses, and was a chance for people to meet up and talk about their memories.

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