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1953 floods: a commemorative event at Canvey Island

Against a photo of Canvey damaged by flooding, the text,
17 January 2023

70 years ago the Essex coastline was devastated by floods. 32,000 people had to be evacuated. 104 lost their lives, 59 in Canvey Island alone.

On 1 and 2 February we're joining a range of partner organisations for an event to commemorate the anniversary.

It will include:

  • a large exhibition about the floods (10am-3pm both days), with representatives from Canvey Community Archive on hand
  • a listening post, information packs and memorabilia provided by Essex Record Office
  • outside the library, two of the buses that were used in the evacuation of the island
  • students from Castle View School assisting people in using Canvey Community Archive's award-winning website
  • a performance by Canvey Community Choir (12.30-1.45pm on 1 February)
  • refreshments, provided by Morrisons and served by a team of volunteers (12.30-2pm both days)

The focal point will be the blessing and unveiling by the Lord Lieutenant of a plaque commemorating the disaster on the outer wall of the library (1 February at 2pm).

Representatives of all faiths, survivors and families representing those who lost their lives will attend.

Meanwhile, the Town Council will have drop in information, again on both days, provided by the Environment Agency, Coastwatch and lead local flood authorities. The focus of this will be the historic and ongoing measures to ensure flooding on this scale never recurs.