were at the dance at the Pier Pavilion. Early on that night the
dance was quite normal. We knew the water was very high, but then
about half past nine, quarter to ten, a policeman came in and...he
said would all RAF personnel from RAF Bawdsey please report to RAF
Felixstowe. Which produced a real big cheer from the RAF Felixstowe
boys, who said they didnít want them there.
"They said the hamlet was cut off, until then we none of us
had took any notice, but then we went to the cafeteria side and
the water was flooding in just round the perimeter of the Pier Pavilion.
"About half an hour to an hour later a boy who grew up with
us in Trimley, his father was a director of William Browns, his
name was Sibbett. Now Sibbett was doing his national service at
Felixstowe and he knew us well. He used to smoke a small cheroot
like and he was a real toff to us, because we were in the building
trade and he was quite different to us but he was a lovely chap.
"He came up to me and he said: 'Iím going to have to go down
because theyíre talking about sea water in the camp and Iíve got
my car down there. Iím going to have to move it.'
"And that was the last I ever saw of him, he was drowned. It
baffles me to this day, because he went down earlier and a lot of
the other servicemen stopped until quarter to 12. I still canít
figure in my mind, to this day, how he disappeared like that, and
he was washed up at Fagborough...
"Well we came out of the Pier Pavilion and the girls, my wife
now was there, she was only 15 at the time, but I knew her. Well,
when they came out the girls couldnít get across the water that
was just round the pier outside the perimeter, so the cars then
had these big bumpers and we were helping the girls.
"Some of these cars had handles on the back of them to the
boots and the girls were getting on and standing on the bumper because
once they got about eight feet across there was no water again and
thatís why it fooled you into thinking it was safe. Lots of the
girls were cheering.
"Then a gang of us, I can remember one of the boys that were
with us that night, John Hedley, who is still in Trimley and still
see him about. We decided to have a stroll and we strolled along
the prom and after we had got away from the pier, because it was
totally quiet then, the sea was coming up to the prom but not bashing
it, there were no waves at all.
"It was coming up in a terrific swell and all of a sudden this
hut, we leaned against it, we were as bad as the youngsters today
really, we maybe helped it a little bit on its way. It came up and
it took this hut like a ghost. And the hut just went, in slow motion,
the hut just went out and the swell was dropping right down to the
stones and there was all the stone noise and then this big swell
would come back.
"Well two or three huts went and what surprised usÖThey turned
upside down and then the floor went out of them and then you saw
chairs floating about and we got a chair. Because we never thought
at that time how serious it was going to be the next day.
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