I lived at Sixty Acres

Floods 1953

Photo is for illustration purposes

I lived in a bungalow at Sixty Acres and remember the night of the flood very well. I had measles and was sleeping with my Mum and Dad. I woke up and asked for a drink, the bedside table floated away when my dad put his hand out to reach for it.

I lived with my Mum Phyllis, Dad Albert, brothers Victor and Geoff and my nan Jane Parker. Dad got us up into the loft, the water was rising all the time. We could hear the children in the bungalow across from us screaming. The baby died!

We were eventually rescued in a rowing boat, it already had some people in it that had been picked up. We had to climb on the roof from the loft window and jump into the boat. There wasn’t enough room for mum, me and the boys (Dad had to stay at the bungalow with nan, she was too old and infirm to climb out and jump) in the first rowing boat, but it was towing another boat and my brothers had to get in that. The tow rope broke as the boys jumped in and the boat started to drift away. My eldest brother (12 years old) had to grab a piece of wood floating by and paddle back to our boat.

When we got to to the path soldiers lifted us out of the boat, one gave me his jumper as I only had a nightie on and it had got ripped (I was 5 years old). We were then taken to a school in Benfleet.

I went for a walk by the golf course today and was filled with memories.

Comments about this page

  • I have just seen this comment, my wife Sylvia Pullan lived in ‘Eversley’ Ameland Road facing Sommes Avenue, aged 11 would like to know where you lived and the name of the bungalow, and did any of your family attend the Baptist Mission Hall. It must have been the Manser’s children you heard screaming, 3 of them died aged 2, 4 & 5 My wifes fathers family lived in ‘Woodville’ Central wall Path also heard them screaming and then singing hymns but where unable to reach them because of the depth of the water. I believe the photograph was taken from the sea wall at Small Gains Creek, the house in foreground is where Joe & Amy Wyatt lived, Amy ran Greenflields Stores in Hindles Road, as far as I know the only photographs of flooding in Sixty Acres where aerial pictures

    By Mike Brown (30/12/2012)
  • Hi, sorry for delay in replying I have only just seen your comment. Our bungalow was called ‘Phyllisina’ it was named after my mum Phyllis. My nan jane lived there with my Aunt Rose ling before the second world. My brother Geoffrey was born on Canvey in 1942. We lived very near the family called ‘Hall’. The dad was called Ted and his wifes name was Peggy. I have seen Delia, the daughter, in recent years and she kindly sent me photos of the Christmas party we were all at in the hall that was near ‘Lunns’ shop. From memory I think my brothers both went to the mission hall.

    By Barbara Holmes (nee Elliott) (18/01/2013)
  • Hello Barbara, Peggy Hall was my Fathers Sister, your friend Delia is my cousin, You can find my story on this web site under ‘My Memories of the Floods Sixty Years On.’ The children you heard were the Mansers, Andrew has just put his horrific experience of the floods and what happened to his family after on CCA called ‘12 Hours 1953 floods’ Sylvia Brown (nee Pullan)

    By Sylvia Brown (27/01/2013)
  • Sylvia, what a small world, I did not know Delia was related to you. I can still remember her brother Derek trying to teach me to ride his bike in their garden (I still can’t ride a bike). Reading about the Mansers terrible experience still brings vivid memories of that night to mind. Will you be attending any of the dates to mark the anniversary? Barbara Holmes

    By Barbara Holmes (nee Elliott) (28/01/2013)
  • Barbara, I will be going to the unveiling of the commemorative plaque at the Library on Friday morning 1st February. Sylvia.

    By Mike Brown (29/01/2013)
  • I hope to see you there Sylvia. Regards Barbara

    By Barbara Holmes (nee Elliott) (29/01/2013)
  • Just read your comments. Bringing back a lot of memories. I remember the horrific deaths of the Manser family. I grew up with Delia and Margaret Pollock. I also attended the Baptist Mission in the area of sixty acres. I have photos of the queens coronation 1953 of all the children in fancy dress ( we we all dressed in red/white and blue) but unfortunately it is a black and white photo.Love to know whether Delia and Margaret still live on Canvey.

    By Jennifer Ann Leach (née Burford) (20/08/2023)
  • Hi Jennifer,
    My middle brother Chris married Margaret and they had a daughter, Pippa and now she has two boys. Chris and Margaret divorced several years ago but Chris still keeps in touch. Both Margaret and her sister moved to Suffolk to be close to their Mum and with Pippa close by they all still live in the south Suffolk area. I will forward your comment to Chris. Graham.

    By Graham Stevens (21/08/2023)

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