Memorial services to be held to mark 60th anniversary of horrific 1953 floods

Picture shows 1953 flood, Cliff Hill towards William IV, Gorleston.Picture taken by Dennis DurrantFo

Picture shows 1953 flood, Cliff Hill towards William IV, Gorleston.Picture taken by Dennis DurrantFor ENMANDATORY CREDIT - Dennis Durrant - Credit: Dennis Durrant

MEMORIAL services will be held to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods which devastated England’s east coast.

MEMORIAL services will be held to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods which devastated England’s east coast.

On 31 January 1953 a combination of forceful winds, atmospheric pressure and high tides created a storm surge that claimed 307 lifes and destroyed more than 24,000 homes.

On that night, more than 80 people died on the coast of northwest Norfolk, while others survived by standing on rooftops.

Nigel Dixon, Cabinet Member for Community Protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “What happened in 1953 is something Norfolk people will never forget.


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“It may be 60 years ago but for the communities hit by those devastating floods that January and especially in those where lives were lost, the memories are all too fresh.

“It is right that we remember and it is right that we do our best to make sure such events cannot be repeated.”

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A memorial service will be held at 10am on Sunday 27 January at St Mary’s Church, Heacham.

An exhibition of photographs and memories from the 1953 floods will be on display in the church all that week.

On January 31 at 11am the flood memorial at North Beach, Heacham will be re-dedicated and children from Heacham Junior School will lay a special tribute.

A special service incorporating representatives from the emergency services and voluntary organisations, led by Reverend Canon Chris Ivory, will also be held at King’s Lynn Minster on 31 January at 7pm.

Borough Mayor, Cllr Geoffrey Wareham, said, “The flood had an enormous impact on our communities and tragically claimed the lives of over 80 people locally.

“It is both fitting and important that we remember people who lost their lives during that terrible night and celebrate the bravery of those who fought to save the lives of others and the resourcefulness of people in coping with the aftermath.”

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