Pulling together as a community


Think the snow is making life tough now?

Sixty five years ago, thousands of local people were forced out of their homes due to the massive floods which hit East London, writes Colin Grainger.

Is this little picture special, we show you some shots of life then.

Above are women and children being given soup and food at the Canning Town Public Hall.

Below are scenes in Silvertown, North Woolwich and Canning Town



What is often referred to as The Great Flood of 1953 began as a small amount of low pressure out in the mid-Atlantic. As it whirled around between Britain and Iceland, it grew to hurricane force on January 31.

It moved to the middle of the North Sea and on February 1 the Spring high tide struck the lowest areas of Essex and Kent in the middle of the night.

First to be hit was Harwich, then Jaywick, as the storms threw caravans and chalets around like toys. The sea rose more than 3ft in 15 minutes and 35 people were killed.

The tidal surge swept up the Thames, with sea levels 10ft above normal.

From Tilbury to Docklands, factories, oil refineries, gasworks, electricity stations and suchlike were brought to a standstill.

It was the area around Bow Creek, the tidal outflow of the River Lea, where London suffered most with Silvertown, North Woolwich, Custom House and Canning Town, being the worst hit.


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