Maidstone folk rally round after great floods of '53
Floods hit Maidstone high
street in 1953
People living in Maidstone had good reason to be thankful
for not being seriously affected by the 1953 floods.
The County Town, which was largely left high and dry, is
believed to have escaped any serious damage thanks to the lock
gates on the River Medway at Allington.
However, townsfolk were very much involved in responding to the
appeal to help flood victims in other parts of the county.
Responsibility for feeding the 25,000 people stranded on the
Isle of Sheppey was put in the hands of Mr P.E. Bailey, Maidstone
food executive officer.
Food was taken to Chatham by road from various wholesalers in
Maidstone and other parts of the county, and from there an army and
navy co-ordinated ferry service shipped it to Sheerness.
said the floods had not caught the Ministry of Food completely by
surprise, as there were always emergency arrangements.
People living in Maidstone and surrounding area also donated
clothes and blankets for those left homeless.
Within hours of the disaster piles of clothing were arriving at
the Town Hall and council offices.
These were then taken to the Women's Voluntary Service clearing
house for the Maidstone district at Granada Buildings where they
were sorted under the direction of Mrs E. A. Mottram, the district
She told the Kent Messenger that the response to the appeal had
She especially thanked East Borough secondary schoolchildren for
their immediate and generous response to an appeal from their
Supplies of bedding were dispatched daily from Maidstone to a
central store at Chatham where they were sorted and distributed to
needy areas in other parts of the county.
People in the county town were also very generous when it came
to giving direct financial aid.
Within two weeks of the disaster the Mayor of Maidstone's Flood
Relief Fund was said to be in the region of £1,600.
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