The Thames Estuary Partnership

Article by Adam Guy

The Thames Estuary Partnership produce a biannual magazine distributed for free to 5,000 people interested in the past and the future of the Thames Estuary – Talk of the Thames.

In this addition they interviewed Ray Howard and the Archive have helped them with photos from the floods 1953. Click on the link below to read a copy.


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  • A comment made by Ray Howard regarding communications in 1953 I would like to point out the difference between high tide times on Saturday 31st January 1953 high tide at Clacton was 10.25 pm at Southend It was 2 hours later 12.30 pm, Canvey Island is 30 minutes later. by 10 pm Clacton and Jaywick had already been flooded. Living on a Houseboat all my life I knew at 10,00 am on that morning Something was not right when the tide did not even reach our boat and By 4 pm in the afternoon the came in again with over 8 hours to flow to high tide something that my Father and I had never witnessed before. As I have said before we had 2 weeks of SW gales, on that Saturday the Wind backed to the NE by 5 pm it was force 7 gale, this combined with Low pressure of NE Scotland and High pressure in the Atlantic cause A tidal surge down the east coast, because of geographical nature of the North Sea the surge was forced into a funnel as it travelled south. The first indication of this was a telephone call from The Essex River Board to Canvey Urban District Council to Fred Leach at 11.50pm warning of an abnormal Tide. This warning could and should have been given earlier giving the residents of Canvey a chance especially those in Newlands and Sixty Acres. also the fact that the old inner sea wall held back the water in these areas which lessened the speed of the flooding to the rest of Canvey, this can be clearly seen in the aerial photograph in My Memories of the Canvey Floods on the 56th Anniversary. In my opinion earlier communication could have prevented the high death toll on Canvey Island, I vividly remember at dawn the morning after feeling very angry when I finally rowed back to our houseboat telling my Father this should not have happened. Mike Brown

    By Mike Brown (11/12/2012)

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