20 June 2024

Booklet recalls floods of 1953

A booklet has been produced to mark the 70th anniversary of the North Sea floods, which badly affected Spurn, Kilnsea and Easington.

The publication by the Spurn, Kilnsea and Easington Local Studies Group (Skeals) follows an exhibition earlier in the year.

It includes photographs and vivid memories of villagers who were living in the area at the time of the disaster. Also included are reports from the Hull Daily Mail, which covered it extensively.

On the night of January 31, 1953, a storm surge – a combination of strong winds, high tides and low pressure – caused a huge sea swell that caused devastation down the east coast of England and in the Netherlands.

The sea came over just south of Easington (known locally as Bents) and at the same time part of the Humber’s clay bank between Easington and Kilnsea gave way. The water met and flooded a large area between Easington and Kilnsea, encompassing farms, ruining crops and leaving animals stranded.

Farmers and many locals risked their lives to save as many animals as possible, driving them on to higher ground. The land was ruined, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry were lost, and damage was caused to the farmhouses and buildings.

The water reached the farms and houses to the south of Easington but fortunately the river only came to the bottom of the Humberside Lane, in Easington. However, the water moved via the drains into Back/Beck Street and bubbled up through the drains affecting the centre of the village.

Within the books there are stories from people who witnessed the events alongside the story of a rescue of a family from a floating caravan. The booklet also tells the story of the problems people and businesses encountered getting supplies to Kilnsea and Spurn in the aftermath.

The booklet costs £5 and will be available from some local outlets as well as from Mike Welton via [email protected].

Skeals will stage an exhibition and launch the booklet on Saturday, July 29, from 9.30am to 2pm at Easington Community Hall. There will also be a coffee morning with raffle, cake and Skeals publication sales.