East Coast Floods - Hunstanton

  • Theme - Environment
  • Year - 1953
  • Location - King's Lynn
  • Filmmaker - Mr E E Swain


The 1953 floods along the East Coast were the worst peacetime disaster in Britain during the 20th century and more than 300 people loast their lives. Reports are that the flood hit Hunstanton at 7pm on Saturday 31st January 1953. The combined effects of hurricane force winds and a high tide took sea levels to 8 ft above predicted levels. The astonishing damage revealed in the aftermath the folliowing day was caught on camera by Ernest Swain who ran a Photographic and Camera business in Hunny. His films reveals extensive damage of the promenade and the open air bathing pool. Ernest also filmed the visit by the Queen and Prince Phillip who were staying at nearby Sandringham and came to survey the damage and speak to local officials and people involved in the rescue and salvage work. The USAAF, stationed nearby, brought a water tank for residents to collect water in buckets. There are general scenes of devastation shoing houses, bungalows, beach huts, chalets and caravans in ruins.


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