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Stories From The Flood

Carole Josey Remembers

In 1953 there were 6 of my family living in 205 Langer Road spanning 4 generations. My sister Ann and I, my parents, my Grandmother and Great Grandmother.

My mum was the first to wake in the early hours and got up to investigate the unfamiliar noises. It was a bitterly cold moonlit night and the wind was ferocious. Looking out of the window she panicked when she saw the water all around.

Whilst the water was rising, reaching from the stairs, using an old war time black out curtain pole Dad managed to unhook our coats, one by one, from the coat rack in the hall before the filthy water claimed them.

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Carole today with Jennifer Ted

In the new daylight I am in the back bedroom huddled on the bed with mum and sister, Ann. She had her leg in plaster and had to be carried everywhere.

I was very worried about my teddy bear, Jennifer, left downstairs the night before. Despite the name, he’s a boy bear which I had only had for 3 months, a present from my grandmother for my 4th birthday. Also downstairs were our new Christmas presents- Ann’s dolls house and my splendid cart. But it was Jennifer I could not stop fretting about.

My grandmother and great grandmother were in their bedroom at the front, still in a state of shock and distress. They were witnessing the unfolding terror of the poor people in the prefabs across the road through their window.

We kept warm as dad lit a fire in the bedroom hearth and broke up a small cupboard to keep it going.

After rising to a height of over 6 feet the water level dropped enough to allow Dad to venture downstairs during the morning. The force of the water had burst open the front door and the windows were smashed. Wading through the living room he was met with a scene of devastation. Even Mum’s knitting was a forlorn sight, the ball unravelled and yards of wool drifting in and out of a broken window.

But floating on the settee- dry and safe …..was Jennifer. We evacuated together to safety and have remained together these past 70 years.

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