January 28, 2023 8.00 am This story is over 15 months old

Lincolnshire East Coast exhibition to open on 70th anniversary of tragic floods

A flood that claimed the lives of 43 people

A special exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of a flood that claimed the lives of 43 people and devastated Lincolnshire communities on the east coast will launch next week.

The exhibition, which will be held at the North Sea Observatory in Chapel St Leonards, will feature photographs, newspaper articles, and local children’s schoolwork from the time of the flood in January 1953.

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

The exhibition will show the impact of the floods. | Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

The flood, which was caused by a combination of high spring tides and severe winds, saw water surge as far as two miles inland, seriously affecting areas such as Mablethorpe, Sutton on Sea, and Skegness.

Reports from the time say that the sea overflowed into the towns and villages along the coast, breaching defenses and leaving them underwater.

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

Following the flood, sand and mud needed to be pumped back to sea so that people could return to their homes, and the military were brought in to shore up defenses before the next high tide in February.

It will also display the community spirit at the time. | Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

Cllr Colin Davie, executive councillor for environment, and local councillor for Ingoldmells Rural on Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This anniversary is a chance to not only look back and remember those who lost their lives – and the great challenges our coastal communities overcame at that time – but to take stock of how well prepared we are today against the threat of coastal flooding.”

“What this exhibition shows us is how the communities affected by this terrible flooding came together and ultimately recovered.

“Amongst 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.”

| Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

The Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Mr Toby Dennis, will officially open the exhibition.

Prior to the exhibition opening a private memorial service will take place at St Peter and St Paul Church in Ingoldmells.

The service will be led by Rev. Richard Holden.

| Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

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