Glimpse history through old images of Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, England.
This silent, black and white footage shows the impact of flooding in 1953.
Crowds gather at The Cross Inn, with evacuees holding just a family pet or a few possessions. Everyone, from the police to civilians, wear boots or wellingtons to trudge through the mud. The British Army and RAF have come to help, bringing an amphibious vehicle.
The scenes of the village are startling. The water is still high, and men hold on to the outside of crowded lorries to get through. There’s an abandoned boat, two men struggling through the water with a large bag, and a smashed shop front. A crane struggles to move a wrecked car out of the dyke.
Then we see the evacuation centre at Alford. Men, women, the elderly, children, and even pets wait patiently. It’s probably cold, because thet are all dressed in coats and hats.
It’s back to the streets, where Funland faces a river where the road should be. After seeing more scenes of damage, we watch people struggling to lift an older lady out of the back of a lorry.
Other evacuees walk along to the evacuation centre at Alford, many of them elderly and some with visible health issues.
Further scenes show the damage at Ingold Mells and the Butlins Camp.
Lincolnshire Flooding (1953) – British Pathé (YouTube)
There’s also a newsreel of Queen Elizabeth II visiting Purfleet & Tlbury, Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea, all of which had been affected by the floods.
Queen Tours Flood Areas (1953)- British Pathé (YouTube)
Duke’s Visit (1955)
Silent, black and white footage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Maplethorpe and Sutton on Sea to see the new sea defences.
We see groups of local adults and children ambling along the seafront with the Duke and group of officials.
Duke Of Edinburgh Visits Mablethorpe And Sutton Sea Defences AKA Duke Visits Mablethorpe (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube
Bill Brownlow (1963)
Bill Brownlow used to be the town’s Mayor. By 1963, he was a retired 85 year old man walking up to 20 miles a day collecting other people’s castoffs to sell on behalf of local old age pensioners.
Somehow, his 24 years of collecting unwanted bric-a-brac, transported by a large old pram named ‘Sally, the Junkman’s Friend, had raised £15,000. Even Queen Elizabeth II had made a donation of half a tea set.
It was enough to buy eight bungalows, named ‘Brownlow Bungalows’, where the elderly residents now lived rent free.
He displayed the items for sale in his front garden.
The House That Junk Built (1963) – British Pathé on YouTube