Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Can it be sixty five years today since that dreadful flood occurred along the east coast, particularly on Canvey Island?  Hundreds died that night and my father-in-law, PC Richard Graham Kent, then a policeman stationed at Brentwood, helped save some of the families living in the bungalows that were under the water.
Some of my family live there now and just recently, I paid a visit to learn more about the island which was built by the Dutch several hundred years ago. Defences in the form of a solid sea wall were built thereafter starting in 1975 and finished in 1983.  Ray Howard "Mr Canvey"  has just given a talk on BBC Essex outlining that awful time.  There are, of course, numerous books written about this event, and I have included this sad period in several of my features and books over the last few years.  In my last book (my tenth), I mentioned the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden who, in 1625, is believed to have worked in Canvey in repairing sea walls, as well as the breach damage at Dagenham - see page 11 of BARKING & DAGENHAM FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS published by Amberley Publishing of Stroud.

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