Interview with Malcolm Carter, 14 October 2009
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Sub-Fonds
Oral History Recordings
Level: Sub-Series
Memories Exchange interviews
Scope and Content:
Interview with Malcolm Carter about growing up in Harwich and the 1953 flood.

[Track 1:] Earliest memories: grew up at 45 Mayflower Avenue; born in his grandparents' house at 21 Station Road; attended Main Road Infants School, then Esplanade Junior School (1 minute 9 seconds).
[Track 2:] Account of the 1953 Flood: woken up by sound of marching feet, soldiers brought in from transit camp at Tollgate for rescue operation; walked to bottom of road and saw school’s playground under water; cars under water; rowing boats rescuing people; Salvation Army out with mobile tea and soup units (2 minutes 2 seconds).
[Track 3:] Concern for grandparents, tried to see their house; walked to Redoubt, saw water up to level of first floor window; then went to Harwich Green, saw one person through the window (1 minutes 53 seconds).
[Track 4:] Had to wait where rowing boats were dropping off rescued victims; grandparents arrived around 1:00 pm; went with grandfather to the Drill Hall to register; people from outside Harwich came to take in flood victims (2 minutes 12 seconds).
[Track 5:] Watched water subside over next week; returned to grandparents’ house next Saturday morning; table still laid for Sunday supper; water damage (4 minutes 8 seconds).
[Track 6:] People camping in Harwich Green; grandparents continued to live with them for nine months, moved back September/October 1953; most of furniture could not be salvaged; house cleared for grandparents then dried out and redecorated, given furniture, uncertain how much they had to contribute to costs (3 minutes).
[Track 7:] Effect of trauma on some neighbours (1 minute 12 seconds).
[Track 8:] Effect of flood on the town; loss of grandparents’ chickens; but house dried out well and minimal long-term effects; later visit to the house and much still the same; well behind the house (3 minutes 17 seconds).
[Track 9:] Some memories from Second World War: Nissen hut in grandparents’ garden; air raids and air battles overhead (2 minutes 23 seconds).
[Track 10:] Town’s gradual recovery after the flood (42 seconds).
[Track 11:] 1953: also when Harwich and Parkeston Football Club made it to the FA Cup Final; special trains put on for residents to go to the match; improved town's morale even though team lost the match (1 minute 5 seconds).
[Track 12:] Esplanade School: discipline; general respect for adults from children; centenary of school in the 1950s; several other family members attended school including father’s mother Ada Carter; played football for the school, Fisherman’s Cup; enjoyed school (4 minutes 4 seconds).
[Track 13:] Stayed at County High School until aged 18, with first two years in the Tower; then teacher training in London; returned to Harwich to teach at St George’s School for two years; then moved to London (1 minute 20 seconds).
[Track 14:] Intended to return to Harwich on retirement; now has roots in London but enjoys visiting; memories of eating Pitt’s fish and chips in Harwich (2 minutes 50 seconds).
Dates of Creation:
14 October 2009
31 minutes 23 seconds
Creator Name:
David Whittle
Admin History:
Malcolm Carter was born and grew up in Harwich. He trained as a teacher and eventually moved to London to teach.
Copyright of Mr Carter transferred to Harwich Society; copyright of recording transferred to ESVA but contact Harwich Society prior to use for broadcasting on radio, television, or non-ERO website.
Physical Characteristics:
Digital MP3 files created from original wma recording.
Originals Location:
Harwich Society
Related Unit of Description:
The interview with Mr Carter's sister, Diane Butler, is catalogued as SA 49/1/2/11/1.
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Floods Interview with Malcolm Carter
Subjects Football Interview with Malcolm Carter
Subjects Football Interview with Malcolm Carter
Personal Names Malcolm
Interview with Malcolm Carter
Document Types Sound recording Interview with Malcolm Carter
Institutions Salvation Army Interview with Malcolm Carter