Bill and I had just come back from a wedding and we’d seen the tide
was so high, because the water was just at the bottom of Bath Street,
you see. They used to go over that on the ferry.
"So we’d called in to make sure Mum was all right. We let ourselves
in and she was sitting there and she said: 'Yes I’m alright.'
"About 2.15 in the morning we were awoken by somebody banging
on the door and it was the chap who lived next door to Mum. He said:
'Can you come down? We’re flooded and your Mum is all alone.'
"So I just grabbed some trousers to put over my pyjamas and
my Bill did the same and off we went down there.
"When we came to look down Bath Street I couldn’t believe my
eyes. I’d never seen anything like it. Well, we waded down and we
had water above our knees. We got to the front door and my Bill
had to put his weight against it and smash it open. The flood had
brought up the rug and there were all things against the front door.
"I shall never forget seeing my mother...her legs were crippled,
she couldn’t hardly get up a step. From her living room to her kitchen
was a step and one of my brothers had made a ramp so she could get
"Mum was sleeping downstairs and when we opened the door and
went in the living room, my mother was in the corner of the room.
She had got a wireless standing on some furniture, the big table
was at the side of it. How on earth my mother got up there…God must
have been about that night, honestly.
"She got up, I don’t know how she did it. She was standing
on this thing that the wireless stood on. She had leaned forward,
pulled the window down and she was hanging onto the window. So we
got hold of her and got her onto the table and I went into the kitchen
to see if I could make her a drink, but the oven was under water...
"Then after all this my husband suddenly thought: 'Oh darling
I wonder how my bees are?' Do you know my sweetheart had got 12
stocks of bees and they were down at Bourne Bridge. Where the park
is at Bourne Bridge there was a huge garden and a nice bungalow
in there and the people that lived there had told my husband he
could keep his bees at the end of their garden.
"He went down later on and he had lost every one of his 12
stocks of bees. But there, when you think that people lost their
lives it was nothing, but it meant a lot to him.
"But to go back to the flood...you’ve never seen such filth
in your life. We finally got it tidy, but they got Mum a flat round
here in Austin Street. I shall never forget it. But when I think
of people who lost their lives – they were caught like rats in a
trap down Felixstowe. They had no chance, those places, they’d only
got the one door and it was so sudden, the flood. They had no means
of getting out. They were just caught, as I say, like rats in a
"The thing was, it had been so windy, when the tide was ebbing
it couldn’t get right out because the wind was coming in so fierce
it held the tide back. So when the tide reversed that was more than
half way here because it couldn’t ebb out in the first place. So
that was why it was so horrific.
"Do you know what my mother said to me, this is the God’s truth,
she said: 'Dorothy, my Bible is in the front room, will you go and
see if you can find it?'
"I thought what a thing to think about, forgive me saying that!
But she was so concerned about her Bible.
"It’s such a long time ago now, I wouldn’t want to live it
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