Essex Floods 1953

1953 , Essex (County)

A look into the after effects of the 1953 Essex floods.

This film opens with shots of the water surging through broken banks and along streets. There are scenes of firemen carrying a boat and of the flood waters around houses, with people and a dog being rescued by boat. Houses, some of which are prefabs, are piled up and in a house-to-house search for casualties an elderly woman is helped from her bungalow. There is a long shot of an ambulance and a stretcher is seen (with a fatality) being put aboard. Various shots follow of cars going along flooded roads, policemen directing traffic and some shots of rescuers' cars that themselves needed rescuing. An exterior shot of Canvey Island Secondary Modern School with water rushing in.There follows a sequence on the help given to the homeless. People wait for transport and boarding buses. The homeless, including whole families, are shown in a large dormitory. Piles of clothing and shoes that was collected for those who had lost their belongings are shown. Medicines were also collected and the film shows nurses looking after babies caught in the flood. Volunteers prepare food in a school canteen and people are served their food and seen eating. The next sequence shows people returning to their homes. There are shots of policemen checking cars and the identities of people returning to the flooded areas. This was a precaution against looting. Some houses were unsuitable for habitation again. There is a close-up shot of a notice on a house in Harwich to this effect and scenes of houses with their contents washed into the garden. The cleaning up operation follows. Mud is shovelled out of the houses andfurniture and goods are stacked outside. A house is sprayed. Wheeled and tracked army vehicles bring in military personnel and civilian volunteers to assist with the clean up process. River board surveyors are seen assessing the damage to the banks and sea walls. The final sequence is of the men filling sandbags and then stacking them into walls, and finally re-inforcing them with timber.

Featured Buildings

Canvey Island Secondary Modern School

Keywords

Flood damage; Floods

Other Places

Canvey Island; Harwich

Background Information

Most of this film is shot at Canvey Island. Essex was hit hard by the floods of 1953. In Norfolk, the floods arrived during mid-evening; people were up and about and had some warning. In Essex, the floods arrived at midnight, creeping up on people whilst they slept. Eight people were drowned at Harwich - 5 were over 60 - and 1,700 were made homeless. Canvey Island, along with Jaywick at Clacton, was particularly hard hit. These were colonies of wooden chalets and beach huts designed for temporary, summer occupation. In 1953, because of the post-war housing shortage in London, many were occupied permanently. There was no register of this; no way of knowing how many people were trapped or had been swept away. 58 people died at Canvey Island.

  • Maker : Essex Education Committee

  • Camera : Mr Bates

Manifestations

Essex Floods 1953

  • Barcode
    INV344799
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:48
    Modification Date
    22/09/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    727697
  • Barcode
    INV345544
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:48
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    724599
  • Barcode
    INV338320
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:48
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    723806
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV330243
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DV digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:08:50
    Modification Date
    10/05/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    711125
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV276294
    Canonical Identifier
    142
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    bw
    Colour Type
    bw
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:08:53
    Has Image
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    neg
    Modification Date
    06/01/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    699582
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV235248
    Canonical Identifier
    48
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    bw
    Colour Type
    bw
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:09:43
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    N
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    pos
    Modification Date
    05/01/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    699451
    Sound
    silent
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV245610
    Canonical Identifier
    49
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    bw
    Colour Type
    bw
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:03:36
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    N
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    neg
    Modification Date
    05/01/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    699450
    Sound
    silent
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV155528
    Canonical Identifier
    TB 497
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    Umatic tape
    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    23/07/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    673443
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV170192
    Canonical Identifier
    TB 254
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    Umatic tape
    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    22/07/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    673149
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV172061
    Canonical Identifier
    TB 48
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    BetacamSP tape
    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    21/07/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    672729
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV215433
    Canonical Identifier
    S 1341
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    BetacamSP tape
    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    20/06/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    671341
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV227017
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    master digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:08:57
    Has Sound
    N
    Modification Date
    20/05/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    670796
    Sound
    silent
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV232669
    Canonical Identifier
    A-691
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour Type
    bw
    Has Image
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    neg
    Modification Date
    29/04/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    669933
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV277694
    Canonical Identifier
    VP-8
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Duration
    0:09:00
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    562952
  • Barcode
    INV??0558
    Canonical Identifier
    A-858
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identification Notes
    Picture: combined (data migration 25/06/2021)
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    negative
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    560838
    Sound
    sound
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV246465
    Canonical Identifier
    A-691
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    negative
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    560837
    Sound
    sound

Copyright restrictions apply.

Please see our terms of use. Films on this website are provided for personal viewing. Should you wish to use the films in any other way please contact eafa@uea.ac.uk

terms of use

The data for this page was generated on Fri, 26 Nov 2021 18:25:18 +0000. Click to regenerate this page .