Monday, July 15, 2024

Remembering the Tilbury floods of 1953

THERE WAS a certain symbolism that as we started to roll our cameras to film a piece on the sixtieth anniversary of the Tilbury floods, the heavens opened. Of course, Thurrock historian, Jonathan Catton reminded us that it wasn’t raining sixty years ago, it was all about a massive tidal surge in the Thames and in the North Sea.

The 1953 floods were caused by a major storm surge which coincided with a naturally high spring tide. Storm surges are caused when air pressure and strong winds push a volume of water across large distances.

The whole experience saw Tilbury reinvoke the WW2 spirit, which was unsurprising as it was only eight years since the end of WW2.

And the whole experience is one that Tilbury has never forgotten and nor has the hard working historians and archivists that keep the memories alive.

There was a series of events held on January 31st. But before the events started we interviewed Jonathan Catton in a boat in Civic Square to explain about the floods and their impact upon Tilbury.


  1. I am far too young to remember the floods, I was 2 years old living at home with mum and dad in Edmonton.

    Good interview Mike, and I could hear every word despite the heavy rain and wind. May your new mike enjoy many years of action.


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