Extract of Interview with Chris and Roy Hepworth
16th December 2004 CISCA House
1. Can you remember what time that was about? 02.54 R: Early hours of the morning, wasn’t it?
C: About one or two o’clock in the morning. Cause as I say we come down because we got food in the cupboards, and everything else and as we all came in to the kitchen and looking out he said “I can’t see nothing” but I could. I looked out the back window and I could see some bowls floating up the road as it was coming along.
C: Bowls, peoples buckets and things was floating up and down the road. And he kept trying to say to me no it ain’t, coz he knew I was frightened of it all. R: I turned the bowl upside down and put it in the garden, and I said when that goes under we’ll leave. Cause it didn’t, it floated!
C: And the firemen when and come over the fence and cause his father had a little, swim, little pond and he went right in, he went right in
R: You could walk up north avenue at that time up to about there, the road came down like that, the gardens are higher than the road, so they jumped over the fences, and they came across the fences to avoid walking through the deeper part and they just went straight down my dads fish pond.
C: It was pretty frightening, we didn’t take so much notice, but the fact that we had a baby, didn’t we, but then she was upstairs, but oh was it cold, it was bitter
2. So what did you all do then, at that point? 04.23
C: Well we all went upstairs and sat on the beds, didn’t we? R: Yeah
C: till the early hours of the morning and everyone was freezing cold, but then see in them days you didn’t have central heating or anything else, as you well know, so we was acclimatised to that sort of thing.
R: Actually we was downstairs, we was downstairs when the water came in the place, because the lino moved, me mother passed out so we took her upstairs. C: Frightening weren’t it? R: Yeah,
C: Well it came in to that windowsill, so when we came down the stairs I had to hold me baby up like that (moving her arms above her head). R: It was up to about the light switches.
C: He went out in the early hours of the morning and he went all the way to what we call Leighbeck part of Canvey, which is the further end. He worked for a coal yard down there and he went in to this coal yard, filled up one of these big lorries in the coal yard with petrol and got the coal truck and drove it up to where we lived. But then you couldn’t come to where we lived because it was so deep he had to leave it on the main road. And cause we had the big crescent and we had to walk quite a way to go to the lorry and cause we all had to come out of that and that’s what as I say I had to hold my baby up that high, and I was up to here with it.