started about 8 o’clock, we got called out to floods in Wolsey Street,
Commercial Road and Princes Street. We got called out several times
and when we got back to the station, before we could get dry, we
were called out again. We were out the whole night.
"We went down to Wolsey Street with reports of a woman that
was pregnant and she had to be taken to hospital. The trouble was
we couldn’t get her downstairs because the water was about four
feet deep, so we had to take the window, the whole frame out, put
a ladder up and get her out that way.
"I was lucky because I was the driver of the appliance, and
I got as near as I could, but the other poor chaps had water up
to their waists.
"In Ipswich that night the worst flooding was in Commercial
Road, Wolsey Street and Cardinal Street and well up into Princes
trouble was, as the water got up to the electric meters, they kept
flashing – a blue shorting, and that was a bit tricky walking in
there with electric in the water.
"But the people were frightened. They were upstairs and they
could see the blue flashes and that frightened them and you can
understand them getting a bit panicky.
"A little later on that evening I drove down to Princes Street,
as far as I could, with the appliance. As I was sat in the machine,
I was looking at the station, and I suddenly saw a light coming
towards me and all of a sudden it disappeared and I was a bit concerned
so I climbed up on top of the vehicle to see what had happened.
"The next minute this bedraggled man come along, pushing his
motorbike...He was a train driver and he came in the station, jumped
on his motor bike, drove over the bridge and went straight into
the water that was on the other side...
"During the week three of us went down to Southwold. There
was two elderly women and a woman and her little son were missing.
We went down there to pump the water out but we only had one pump
because everything was being used.
"Where we had to pump out there was the sea one side and water
the other side and really what good we did we might just as well
have tried to pump the sea dry.
"We took shelter in one of the chalets, what was left of one
of the chalets where these people were missing, Unfortunately the
little boy, who was about 8 or 9, we found him. He was actually
underneath the chalet where we were taking protection from the wind.
We found the little boy but we didn’t find the other people, not
while we were there. They were found some days later.
"As you know, the water came in from the back, from the river.
It wasn’t the sea, it was water that built up on the river and all
came in the back.
"At that part, just by the little causeway it was all sea really,
you couldn’t see any land. Looking back towards the land it was
all water. We stayed there until midnight and we started to make
our way home.
"We just got onto the A12 and we met a big convoy of fire appliances
coming from London and they were coming to relieve us – just one
machine and there were about ten of them. Station Officer Coe went
back with them to show them where to go, but we went home."
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