We are now moving to learn about how our local Geography has influenced our local History.
Take a look at the images on this link. This is our town many years ago. Do you recognise any of it? How is it different? How is it the same? Answer the following questions.
EXT – what is squirrels now called?
When was the roller skating rink opened?
Explore the other headings to see some more images of our town through History.
Tuesday – The Harwich floods
On the night of Saturday 31, 1953, people were sleeping peacefully in their beds. Seconds later they were fighting for their lives as relentless seawater tore through their homes. Throughout history, the sea has been both friend and foe of the British Isles.
Share this introduction and then the power point of images taken from the flood.
This activity is to respond to the images as the children wish. Do they have questions? Do they recognise any of the places? Do they have statements that they want to make? Do they know anyone who was around at this time?
Share the recount of Ruby Cooper-Keeble aged 12 in 1953
Answer the following questions:
Why could Ruby’s Mother not hear her?
Describe how the water came into Ruby’s house
What did Ruby see when she looked out of the window?
What time did the rain stop? What did Ruby notice was happening at this time?
What happened when Ruby was in the rowing boat?
What had caused the flood?
EXT – what does Ruby mean when she says ‘we almost lost everything’.
The more detail given in the answer the better. Some answers can include the children’s own thoughts or predictions or inferences.
Thursday work through Ruby’s recount and identify key noun phrases and emotive sentences. Which words help you to create an image in your head? Discuss what you know has happened and how her recount helps you to imagine it. EXT can you think of other words that mean the same as the ones in Ruby’s recount or other words that could explain what has happened.
You are a survivor of the 1953 flood, imagine what it was like. How did you feel? Using the information, pictures and any other information you may have gathered yourself. You know the features of a recount but what I’d like to see in this recount is your use of noun phrases and expression to really feel like you are there. Build up the disaster and think about the gradual effects of the water and the steps of escape. Year 2 (Year 1 may try) please attempt to write in paragraphs – change paragraph when you begin each new theme to the recount. Please focus on handwriting also. I’d love to see beautiful formation and joins where applicable.
A night that I will never forget
January 31, 1953, was a very rough day. The wind was howling and the rain was beating down like hail stones. The wind had reached gale force. The sea was very angry – big waves swept along the cliffs and boats were banging together in the harbour. I did not think anything about it – only being 12 years old at the time, without a care in the world. During the night, I was awoken by an awful noise; it seemed as if I could hear water rushing all over the place. I started to shout for my mother, but the noise was so loud that she could not hear me. Then I hear my Nan say, “Oh God”, and she came running up the stairs. My Nan came into my bedroom with my mother – they looked very worried. The water was rushing up the stairs with enormous force. All of a sudden, the lights went out. It was very dark. My mother opened the window. Everyone was shouting and making a noise. I looked out of the window and saw that the water was halfway up the house and still rising.
I remember screaming and screaming and eventually telling my mother what I had seen. It began to go quiet and it was getting cold. We put our coats on to keep us warm. The wind was still very fierce and it had begun to rain again. We all tried to sleep, but sleep would not come. It was just beginning to get light and the wind and rain stopped. The water was still rising at six o’clock the next morning. Two rowing boats came past to tell us not to panic because there was help on the way.
We would all have loved a cup of tea, but there was no electricity. The Salvation Army were coming along the road in boats with tea for those who could reach it. It was about 12.30pm when the rowing boat eventually came to get us out. The road was like a river it seemed as if we were all out for the day in rowing boats, rowing about on the river. As we passed one boat, we hit it and our boat nearly went over. One of the men jumped out and saved us from capsizing.
As we reached dry land at Stour Road, we could see what had happened. The sea wall was gone and it looked like an enormous ocean. We all got into an Army truck which took us to the Drill Hall, where we found everyone we knew from Harwich. They gave us a nice hot cup of tea and something to eat. The water took a week to go down, we lost almost everything, My mind goes back to that awful night. Ruby Cooper-Keeble