The waters, which were up to two meters higher
than normal, hit just after six o’clock on the evening of Saturday
31 January. Norfolk’s badly neglected sea defences didn’t stand
A northwesterly gale had been blowing in Norfolk
for the best part of two days.
The winds were so strong that PC Henry Nobbs of
Snettisham later told the BBC that he’d left the game between Norwich
City and Coventry at Carrow Road early.
"The ball was being blown into the air all the
time and the players couldn’t control it,"
When PC Nobbs arrived back in west Norfolk, just
after 6pm, the sea was already over the car park in Hunstanton and
there was flooding in King’s Lynn and Heacham.
A special radio broadcast took place on Friday 31 January
to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1953 floods.
Use this link to hear
an archived copy of this programme.
The Flood Night special begins 15 minutes
into this stream. You will require Realplayer to hear the
More than 80 people died on the coast of northwest
Norfolk that night. Others survived a bitterly cold night on rooftops,
some on a train.
Ninety minutes after the floods hit the coastal
areas around The Wash, the sea broke through the defences at Sea
Palling, where seven people drowned.
The next day a Mr Fox spoke to a BBC reporter and
described how he tried to escape from his home as the floodwater
destroyed its walls.
Tragically, his newborn baby which he’d strapped
to his back, was swept away in the torrent. His two elder children
died from exposure and then his wife died in hospital shortly after
By 9pm that evening the storm surge had reached
Great Yarmouth where 10 people died.
When the clear-up operation began the next day
in the town, it was estimated that 3,500 homes had been ruined.
Do you remember the 1953 floods or do you live
close to the coast today and worry about a possible repeat of the
tragedy? Have you