Compare the temporary shoreline of the flood with the actual waterfront in the reign of Edward I
Article by John Harman - details of a Whitstable family involved in the maritime industries with a home in Island Wall
Article by Bert Ruck (1909-95) - a local special constable in '53. Item kindly made available by Graham, Claudia & Thomas Ruck and Family
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...
With thanks to all our contributors and readers