Gorleston Floods - the recovery

  • Theme - Environment
  • Year - 1953
  • Location - Gt. Yarmouth
  • Filmmaker - Bernard Bothams


This film shows part of the clean up operation following the disastrous floods of 1953, in which thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.

The sequence shows attempts to salvage furniture. Tables, chairs, rugs and lino are put outside and mattresses are hung over the prefab fences in an effort to dry them out.The RAF use hot air blowers with pipes leading indoors, to speed up the process. The floods had left timber and other debris lying in the street.

Great Yarmouth beach had been hit hard . We can see groups of men trying to clear the wreckage from the beach.The early shots are south of the Wellington Pier and the film then moves along the beach, closer to the Britannia Pier. Quantities of sand had been washed up on the seafront, burying the lawns and partially filling the open air swimming pool. A crew of servicemen, vehicles and volunteers can be seen on Marine Parade, working with sandbags. Outside Yarmouth Town Hall a large gang of helpers shovel up wooden road blocks that have been lifted by the flood. Overnight, hundreds of people lost almost everything. This film is a record of how ordinary people tried to rebuild their homes and all that was left of their possessions.


Member Comments (2)

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  • The theme of documentary movie seems inevitably interesting as its a topic that most of us could connect to on humanitarian grounds.
    By: James Clark - 2454 days ago
  • After all these years it is strange to see this film. I even caught a glimpse of our house in Pavilion Road, Gorleston and saw our neighbours' little girl climbing out from her house. The floods had receded a lot by then. It was a dreadful experience, and at the time we didn't realise that the whole of the East Coast had been inundated, not just Gorleston. We were rescued by row-boat and taken around the corner to the steps up to the cliff. My sister lived in Avondale Road and was there to help us.By: Joyce Head - 2614 days ago
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