Tarpots Corner, Benfleet 1968 Flood

A rare cine recording of Tarpots Corner after three days of rain

Our dad, Ernie Heale, filmed this on Saturday 14th September 1968. Heavy rain over a period of 3 days caused flooding with some parts of Essex getting as much as 150mm of rain.

My brother says he remembers going with him to Tarpots on the Saturday to film the flood. The Bedford¬†CA¬†parked in the Tarpots Pub car park in the background was our dad’s.

In many ways Tarpots has not changed much. Notice the traffic lights, which have just been reinstalled. Also the cars look very different from now.


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  • First downpour I was visiting my sisters, heavy rain struck, about midday eased, did dash for bus stop at Bread & Cheese on bus going down Bread and Cheese hill. Water was pouring down road past properties knocking walls down. Got off at Tarpots, water pressure fountains in the road, manholes at Tarpots corner. Rushed home for camera, photos of water, roads, Tarpot pub cellar etc…have to look these up! Ray

    Ed: We’d like to add your photos to this page if you are able to find them.

    By Raymond Frost (29/03/2022)
  • Thank you for sharing the film, it was great to watch. I was coming home from work that day and got off the bus at Tarpots. I walked down the middle of Lower Church Road because the footpath was closed according to signs floating about. People were standing at their front doors shouting to everyone where to walk, as the road had a large hole across it but those signs had floated away too and the water was too deep and muddy to see where you were walking! I remember one poor lady who fell over as she got off the bus and I just remember her fur coat floating out behind her as she disappeared.

    By Corinne Wheeler (was Hursk in 1968) (17/07/2013)
  • Thanks for the lovely memories, nice to see it’s not changed that much yet.

    By C Hamilton (05/07/2013)
  • Loved seeing this video, remember that day very well, coming home from work, soon as the bus got to the bottom of Bread & Cheese Hill the water was everywhere. My Mum was waiting for me at the bus-stop with my wellies, how we got across London Road I still don’t know! Took us forever to get home, did have lots of laughs though, almost falling over a few times. What I remember most was our dog Lassie floating around the garden on a piece of plywood, wish we had taken photos! Thanks for the memories.

    By Sue Brannlund (nee Fulcher) (10/03/2013)

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