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Remembering the 1953 Lincolnshire County Council coastal floods

Remembering the 1953 Lincolnshire County Council coastal floods


A hotel in Lincolnshire surrounded by flood water.

31 January 2023 marks 70 years since a major flood devastated communities on Lincolnshires east coast. A new exhibition at the North Sea Observatory commemorates those tragic events.

Forty-three people died in the floods as water rose up to two miles inland. The worst affected areas were Mablethorpe, Sutton on Sea and Skegness.

To mark the 70thth anniversary of this event, a collection of photographs, newspaper articles and even schoolwork of local children from the time will be displayed at the North Sea Observatory at Chapel St Leonards.

The exhibition is free to visit and will be on display from January 31 until the end of February 2023.

Reports from 1953 state that a combination of high spring tides and strong winds caused a storm. Shortly after dusk, the sea rushed into the towns and villages along the coast, breaching the defenses and leaving them under water.

With the addition of the morning’s high tide and the continuing storm, the flooding then only got worse.

After the flood, sand and mud had to be pumped back out to sea so people could return to their homes, and the army was brought in to shore up defenses ahead of the next high tide in February.

Cllr Colin Davie, executive councilor for the environment and local councilor for Ingoldmells Rural at Lincolnshire County Council, said:

Lincolnshire has struggled with flooding throughout history; a challenge that continues today as we take steps to better protect our communities along the coast.

“This anniversary is a chance not only to look back and remember those who lost their lives – and the huge challenges our coastal communities overcame during that time – but to take stock of how prepared we are today against the threat of flooding on the coast.

“What this exhibition shows us is how the communities affected by this terrible flood came together and ultimately recovered. Amid the humbling images of flooded streets and destruction, you’ll also find moments of human kindness, resilience and even smiles in the face of adversity.”

The North Sea Observatory can be found at Chapel Point (PE24 5XA) and is open daily from 10am to 4pm.

Published: January 30, 2023




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