1953 Floods Anniversary - ‘My aunt went to rescue her dog’
A survivor of the 1953 floods has remembered the aunt who died rather than leave her dog to the tidal surge.
Rachel Rye has paid tribute to Ivy Ryder who was among the 25 people who drowned when the deluge devastated Snettisham.
Mrs Ryder lived in one of the 150 bungalows on the seafront which were smashed to matchwood as the water breached defences and poured inland.
Mrs Rye, who now lives in South Wootton, said: “My aunt was so very nice and could have been saved.
“She went to the shop to get paraffin and while she was there they asked her to stay but she said no as her little dog was at home. She went to get the dog.”
But during the dark moments of travelling to the village to identify her aunt’s body, a policeman’s wife showed new mum Mrs Ryder great kindness by passing on clean clothes and nappies for her baby son Peter.
Mrs Rye and her husband Douglas had moved into their first home in Lynn’s Pleasant Court just two weeks before the deluge swept through the town.
The family were getting ready to have dinner when neighbour Mrs Holman knocked on the door to warn them.
Mrs Rye said: “She told us to get our things as the water was coming down the street. “We couldn’t see anything but my husband went to look at London Road.
“He came running back and told me to take the baby in the bedroom. Peter was screaming his head off.”
After ensuring the safety of their baby, the couple moved the possessions they could upstairs before the water surged into their home.
Mrs Rye said: “It was really frightening, especially when you have a young baby.
“The water must have been three to four foot deep and covered the cooker. It came up three to four stairs.”
The next morning, children were evacuated from the area as fears were high that the tide might flood again.
Mrs Rye was able to send her son to her mum Olive Howard in Coronation Square and she was later given a piggyback by her husband away from the house.
Mrs Rye said: “When we later went back, the house was covered in mud and there were fish.
“The policewoman at Snettisham was a great help by giving me clean clothes and nappies. I couldn’t wash anything.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 10 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North