was a very, very windy and bitterly cold day, which grew steadily
worse as night time approached. In the afternoon Mum and I went
shopping in town and she bought me a jigsaw puzzle - mice clearing
up after a storm!
"Shortly after returning home we all had tea. Then I had a
bath in a tin bath in front of a coal fire before being tucked up
in a warm, cosy bed with a favourite teddy bear.
"Next I knew was Mum waking me up and telling me to get dressed.
I went back to sleep, but second time I did as I was told.
"Soon afterwards we were plunged into darkness as the lights
went out and all we had was a candle.
"Outside, back and front of our home, we were surrounded by
deep water. I was frightened, but with the love of my family I knew
I would be safe.
"From our front room Dad and Granddad kept watch, while Mum,
pet cat Mickey, and myself remained at the back.
"As high tide approached the water was level with the top of
our front door step (two steps) when it turned and started to ebb
- we were safe.
"Round the corner, in West End View (now Landguard Road) lived
my grandparents and Uncle. Granddad, having suffered a stroke, slept
downstairs and was drowned. The water in their home almost reached
the top of the stairs.
"I was a pupil at Langer Road School and attended Sunday School
at St Edmund's Church, next door - both were under water. Until
Langer School was clean and dry again we went to Causton School
in Maidstone Road.
"I also lost school friends who lived in the prefabs, they
died in their night clothes.
"That tragic and terribly devastating night and following days
I will never forget. Thirty-nine people lost their lives, many survived."
casualty list »
to eye witness index »