The cleanup after the floods of '53

Watercolours by local artist Harry Russell

Pontoon Bridge, Small Gains Creek
Russell ©
RAF Unloading Leigh Shrimp Boats sandbag cargo
Russell ©
Seawall Sunken Marsh
Russell ©

Thanks to his son David for supplying us with copies of these paintings from 1953. Harry’s captions for the work are as follows:

” Crossing Small Gains Creek by Army pontoon bridge. Men on their way to begin the day’s work on the seawall. Impression of morning scene- Operation Canute Feb 1953.”


“The breaches in the seawall round sunken marsh are shewn with a gang of workers crossing Small Gains Creek by means of a pontoon bridge laid by the Army during the Emergency.”

More of Harry’s paintings can be seen here .

Comments about this page

  • Another piece in the jigsaw. When I first looked for Harry (Jack) Russell I was told his paintings always featured the Chapman Lighthouse somewhere in the design. Obviously that wasn’t possible in these sketches. The original mention of this artist can be found under ‘Canvey in Art’. I was in touch with one of the artist’s sons, but have heard nothing further.

    By Robert Hallmann (28/06/2009)

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