Deal 'deals' with the disastrous floods of 1953
Flooding in 1953, when
the sea surged onto the former putting green in the north end of
For all those who lived in Deal and district 50 years ago, the
night of January 31, 1953 was one of the worst for flooding.
A combination of a north-easterly gale and a spring tide drove
the sea at high water over the beach bank protecting the low-lying
parts of North Deal and across the marshes.
To quote from E.C. Pain's book, A History of Deal 1914-1953:
"Water poured like mountain streams down every side street off the
seafront and in many instances it reached depths of several inches
in the centre of the roads.
"In Enfield Road houses were flooded with over 18 inches of
water, and the North Deal 'pre-fabs' and houses on The Marina had
water up to floor level.
"At the Royal Hotel both the inner and outer windows of the main
dining room were smashed and water came pouring through. Sandown
Castle miniature golf course (now Castle Walk/Sandown Close)
resembled a lake, with floods four feet deep.
"Sea poured over the promenade non-stop for four hours and it
was worst at the time when it should have been easing off.
"Large pieces of the promenade, sometimes seven or eight feet in
length, were forced up and swept across the road. The coping stones
of the sea wall were dislodged and flung some yards by the fierce
more beach on the roads or in gardens than anywhere else, and
enormous quantities were carried out to sea."
The book explains how Deal boatment hurried from their beds to
rescue their craft.
But the footpath along The Marina just north of the
Coastguard Station had disappeared for a length of 200 yards and
the promenade shelter "was temporarily ruined and left a
In the farmyard of Sandown Farm the breeding cows were standing
up to their necks in water, while out on the marshes a flock of
sheep had taken refuge on some slightly higher ground.
The owner and our local RSPCA inspector appealed to drinkers in
the Rowing Club to assist with their evacuation.
Using a rowing boat the animals were ferried, two by two, to
safety, leaving one solitary sheep behind.
However when the boat landed, this singleton was found clinging
to the painter; it had swum alongside
Although he had only directed the rescue operation, the
inspector received an award, while the boat owner and the crew who
had manhandled the sheep to safety did not even receive a
thank-you, according to Cliff Smith.
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