Saturdays my parents, which was my mother and my stepfather, we
would normally go to the pictures, which was either The Ritz or
The Playhouse...I remember coming out of The Playhouse and we caught
the local bus down to Station Road where we normally picked up fish
and chips and walked the few yards to home.
"That night, as I can recollect, although it was slightly windy,
it was a bright clear night with a slight wind and basically when
we got in, which was about 10.30 time I had some chips and went
"The next thing I can remember is about 12.00 - 12.30 time,
my parents coming into the room and waking me up. They told me there
was water on the floor and looking over the side of the bed, yes
there was and it was almost waist deep already. To which, not being
a swimmer and a young child I was very frightened and upset.
"My stepfather said they only thing we could do was climb out
of the bedroom window and onto the roof. So my two parents were
obviously very wet by now, up to their waists, and I was held while
my stepfather opened the window.
"On opening the window and moving to the window it was very
horrendous because basically the water by now was probably three
or four feet deep, it was racing past the window at quite a speed.
You could hear people screaming, things breaking. I do remember
a cow going past the window, whether it was dead or alive I don’t
know, but it went past the window.
"It was a clear night so first of all my stepfather said to
mother to get out onto the window sill and he would lift her up
onto the roof, which was quite difficult but he managed to get her
up there. Then he pulled some blankets off the bed to hand out to
her to keep us warm, and the first blanket he put out blew away
in the wind, because it was that strong and obviously from then
we didn’t have any blankets.
"He then lifted me up onto the window sill and mother pulled
me up onto the roof and then he followed on behind. We then lay
on, not a too sloping roof, fairly flat. We lay on the roof, my
parents either side of me to keep me warm.
"You could still hear obviously screaming, shouting. The water
rushing by, trees and bits and pieces. And although I was frightened
I remember looking and seeing everything happening. It was still
clear, bright, but a very strong wind and through the night, although
I was obviously dozing off and coming round it was very, very cold.
Both my parents were very cold.
"The prefab then lifted up off its base and started to move
and as it started to move we moved forward several blocks towards
Langer Road. In the meantime our next door neighbour, which was
a family of I think about five, they had actually got out and swum
out prior to it getting too bad, so they were safe.
"I remember my mother saying to me that fortunately for us,
the neighbours behind me, which was my friend, a young lad the same
age as me by the name of Robin and his mother, they’d been woken
up by their screams and we all wondered whether they were safe or
not. But looking around on the roof there, we were the only ones
we could see on the roofs, so we weren’t too sure.
"As the prefab moved more towards Langer Road and across towards
the houses, it was still dark but you could just about see. We could
still hear people shouting out from the houses was anybody about,
to which my parents replied: 'Yes, we’re on the roof, we’re okay.'
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