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Flood Causes

Brief explanation of why the flood happened

Flood Maps

Approximate map of flooding

A Legacy of 1287?

Compare the temporary shoreline of the flood with the actual waterfront in the reign of Edward I

Events of '53

Research article by Phil Page - with thanks to Phil & Fiona Page and Family


Collection of flood memories from the Visitors Book of Simply Whitstable

Time & Tide

Poem by May Johnson (1908-95) - kindly contributed by Ian Johnson and family

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Memories of the Flood of '53

Article by Donald Laing, Driffield East Yorkshire.

"A Night to Remember"

Article by John Harman - details  of a Whitstable family involved in the maritime industries with a home in Island Wall

Memories of '53

Article by Bert Ruck (1909-95) - a local special constable in '53. Item kindly made available by Graham, Claudia & Thomas Ruck and Family

Mum Cooked in Wellies

Article by Margarett Emery detailing childhood memories of the flood

Harbour Memories

Item Barry Jackson detailing flood scene at Whitstable harbour

Whitstable in the Flood of 1953

The night of 31st January 1953 lives long in the memory of older Natives. It was the night that a freak combination of meteorological and marine conditions combined with weak sea defences and a series of communication failures to produce the town's biggest natural disaster.

As the sea toppled over the coastline, many local people remained blissfully unaware of the approaching menace until water and debris poured into their homes.

Many photos exist of the tragedy... but most belong to museums, professional photographers or the media. Thus, they are not available to Simply Whitstable.

However, when we started to receive anecdotes in our Visitors Book and Donald Laing kindly forwarded his detailed memories of that fateful night, we decided that we could put together a very touching account of the flood based on the experiences of real Whitstable people.

Thus, our Flood of '53 section was born with touching words that reminded us that the disaster was far more than a piece of academic history noted in books. It was about real people... real fears... real tragedy... and even real humour.

Since then, we have been fortunate to acquire a small range of photos from some of our regular contributors. Our thanks to everyone who has helped to piece together those days of 1953.

If you would to add your own memories, please email us at...

Simply Whitstable email address



With thanks to all our contributors and readers