WEST NORFOLK: Memorial service to remember 1953 floods
Memorial services and a special resilience roadshow will be held to mark the anniversary of the 1953 floods.
Sixty years ago on January 31, a combination of forceful winds, atmospheric pressure and high tides created a storm surge that was to devastate local communities. Flooding along the east coast claimed lives and destroyed property.
A memorial service will be held at 10am on Sunday at St Mary’s Church, Heacham. There will also be an exhibition of photographs and memories from the 1953 floods, which will be on display in the church all week.
On Thursday next week at 11am the flood memorial at North Beach, Heacham, will be re-dedicated and children from the village junior school will lay a special tribute.
A special service incorporating representatives from the emergency services and voluntary organisations, led by Reverend Canon Chris Ivory, will also be held at Lynn Minster on January 31 at 7pm. Borough mayor, Geoffrey Wareham will attend. The public is welcome.
Mr Wareham, said: “The flood had an enormous impact on our communities and tragically claimed the lives of over 80 people locally.
“It is both fitting and important that we remember people who lost their lives during that terrible night and celebrate the bravery of those who fought to save the lives of others and the resourcefulness of people in coping with the aftermath.
On Tuesday of next week, the Norfolk Resilience Forum will be available on the Tuesday Market Place 9am to 1pm.
People will be able to find out more about flood warning systems and how to develop local and personal emergency response plans.
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The Norfolk Resilience Forum is working with the Environment Agency to deliver a number of local exhibitions in libraries across the district. These week-long exhibitions will provide an opportunity for people to find out more information on how to prepare for flooding, how the local community was affected in 1953 and how our coastline is being managed locally. The timetable is as follows: week commencing 21st January - King’s Lynn library, week commencing 28th January - Gaywood library, week commencing 4th February - Hunstanton library.
Brian Long, cabinet member for environment, said: “The 1953 floods remind us of the formidable power of the sea and how important it is that we plan to cope with such terrible events. Thankfully monitoring, early warning systems and communication channels are much more sophisticated these days, but it is still very important that all local communities know how to respond in such circumstances, so I hope people come along on Tuesday (29 January) to get advice and find out what they can do. ”
Robert Flute, chairman of the Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: “The floods of 1953 and the aftermath are etched into the minds of people living in the east of England. For those who remember and those who have heard and learned about the tragic events, they serve as a reminder of the power of the elements, the bravery of individuals and the need to be prepared. It is important that anniversaries such as this are marked and communities remember.”
Nigel Dixon, cabinet member for community protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “What happened in 1953 is something Norfolk people will never forget. It may be 60 years ago but for the communities hit by those devastating floods that January and especially in those where lives were lost, the memories are all too fresh. It is right that we remember and it is right that we do our best to make sure such events cannot be repeated.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west