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.