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28 October 2014

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Extract from the diary of Mrs Gertrude Trevethick of Sea Lane, Saltfleet
Philip James Trevethick, from South Cockerington visited the BBC Bus in Saltfleet to talk about the impact of the 1953 floods. He brought with him his mother's diary and has kindly given us permission to reproduce an extract from it:

Diary from 1953 kept by Mrs Gertrude Trevethick.
January 31st 1953

A night of horror and fear, in minutes the lights failed and the sea flooded our home feet deep. Charles with torch rescued important papers and drums after we had carried the children upstairs to safety. I waded for food, tins, bottles, clothes, kettle and hot water bottles - we got what we could whilst we could wade, then joined the children upstairs, rubbed ourselves dry and removed wet clothes. I was able to fill one hot water bottle before the fire went out, so put the children all in one bed with it to keep warm - and a red Christmas tree candle on the mantlepiece - they soon all went to sleep.

Through the bedroom window we could see the sea completely surrounding us and the poor neighbour's bungalows. The headlights of a car standing at the top of the lane showed waves and wreckage, Mr Fricker's garage down. We could do nothing for the old people, only hope they were up on their furniture, We stood at the top of the stairs until we knew that the tide had turned and the water level had started to go down. We then got into bed to keep warm.

We were awake all night and out of bed to see Herb Horton with his tractor start the rescuing (later we knew he had found his father drowned and sent his mother to hospital. He then worked on all night.) We saw three people carried from Mr Fricker's, Mrs Clayton had died, Mrs Millward and Mr Frost also drowned, People with cars and tractors could get halfway down the lane, we decided to stay here.

Extract from the diary of Mrs Gertrude Trevethick of Sea Lane, Saltfleet

See also: Eyewitness accounts of the 1953 floods | Flood facts | Flooding then and now | Useful links | Flood Awareness | Experiences of the floods

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