1953 Flood

Frances Drewer (Bingham)


I was 10 years old in 1953 and lived in Lime Tree Avenue, Benfleet.

All I can remember of the floods is waking up and hearing the bells ringing of ambulances and police cars and wondering what had happened. It was very unusual in those days to hear ambulances and police cars not like today when we hear sirens nearly every day.

My father discovered that Canvey Island had been flooded so he took my sister and I to our Grandparents’ house. My Grandparents lived on top of the hill in Oakfield Road (where I now live) and had a view across the estuary. We looked across towards Canvey and it had disappeared below a sheet of water.

I then remember my father taking blankets to Benfleet Primary School and saying he had put his name on a list. This meant we were willing to house people who had lost their homes in the floods and had nowhere to stay. I recall two men staying with us but cannot remember for how long.

We were unable to attend school as it was also being used as temporary accommodation.

Frances Drewer (Bingham)

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