Ben and Monica Bennett, Felixstowe
and Monica Bennett
and Monica Bennett were in their twenties at the time of the floods.
They were living in rooms in Levington Road.
Ben worked for the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company.
"I was working from 8 'til 12 midday on the Saturday. The wind
was that strong on my way home I couldn’t pedal my bike properly and
one of Rogers’ lorries stopped and gave me a lift up to Levington
Road. Of course I went home and never thought no more about a flood
or anything occurring that day.
"The Saturday night we went to bed and I think we would have
slept through it until Mrs Porter, the landlady we were living with
at the time, came knocking on our bedroom door to say the water was
coming up the stairs and we had no electricity or anything.
"The water gradually came up to the top stair in Levington Road
and we were panicking. In fact the next door neighbour, Sam Smith,
he started to knock the slates off the roof, thinking he would have
to get on the roof if the water came up any higher.
"As luck would happen when that got to the top stair that started
to decline a little bit. I suppose that was when the tide started
to go out. Anyway that didn’t come any higher than the top stairs.
So we hadn’t got no cigarettes or anything in the bedroom all we had
got was the clothes what we took upstairs.
"We opened the windows and everybody was shouting and trying
to communicate with one another. We sat there until the early hours
on the Sunday morning and then people started coming in little rowing
boats, asking people if they could help them.
"Naturally they were going to the people that were in need first.
Anyway one of my mates that I used to work with, he was one of the
first persons I see in a rowing boat and he chucked me some cigarettes
up, which I was thankful for.
"Later on, Mrs Porter, that was the landlady we were living with,
her son came along with a rowing boat and he got us out through the
bedroom window. I had to lower my daughter, she was only three at
the time, we lowered her down in a blanket into the boat and then
we got into the boat and he rowed us across to the Beach Station railway
"That’s where we got off the boat and we walked up the railway
bank to the Ordnance and we went to our friends, who had got a prefab
in Langley Avenue, and she put us up for about three weeks."
Can you describe the scene around you?
"There were sheds, cattle, because they used to have a lot of
cattle on the marshland there. There was cattle floating about, all
debris, wooden sheds and everything.
"As a matter of fact there was one person, Tom Collins, he was
an old fisherman and he came out in his back garden. Of course there
was nothing anyone could do for him, the water just washed him away.
"We see that, but we couldn’t do nothing about it, we were in
the bedroom. He came out of his back door wondering what was happening
I suppose and the water just submerged him and took his life. Never
heard no more of Tom.
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