Wednesday, January 31, 2018

ESSEX: REMEMBERING THE CANVEY ISLAND FLOODS of '53

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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