Interview with Ray Chippington, 2 February 2013
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Sub-Fonds
Oral History Recordings
Level: Sub-Series
Memories Exchange interviews
Scope and Content:
Interview with Ray Chippington about the 1953 flood in Harwich.

[Part 1] (10 minutes 5 seconds)
[Track 1:] Grew up on Wellington Road; played in alleyway; friendly neighbourhood (1 minute 19 seconds).
[Track 2:] Day before the 1953 flood started as normal Saturday, played during the day; bath night: method of heating water, siblings taking turns to bathe; listened to radio, ‘Journey Into Space’ programme; went to bed (2 minutes 46 seconds).
[Track 3:] Three-storey house, description of layout; slept in room with brother, sister slept on second floor; heard wind through the sash windows; woken up by mother in the night panicking because flooded; water had risen almost to top of stairs, bedroom floor wet; most of clothes downstairs; family scared (3 minutes 19 seconds).
[Track 4:] Called out to neighbours; neighbour reassured them; father tried to calm them; no gas or electricity; rescued by army during the day; climbed out window into boat (2 minutes 40 seconds).

[Part 2] (6 minutes 41 seconds)
[Track 5:] Slept while they were waiting to be rescued; nothing to drink; weather was much calmer; neighbours talking to each other through the windows; rescued by army through the window; rescued some more neighbours until boat was full; boat took them to Barrack Lane, nearest dry land (3 minutes 5 seconds).
[Track 6:] Went to Drill Hall, helped by WRVS [Women’s Royal Voluntary Service], Salvation Army; then taken to transit camp; stayed there for about one week, given clothes by WRVS; went by coach to grandparents’ in London, stayed there until summer (2 minutes 12 seconds).
[Track 7:] Moved back into house: had been dried out while they were away; all possessions ruined (1 minute 22 seconds).

[Part 3] (1 minute 56 seconds)
[Track 8:] Remembers celebrating Coronation Day in Drill Hall; received mug (June 1953) (47 seconds).
[Track 9:] Allocated new house on Pound Farm Drive, development that Council had started prior to the flood (1 minute 8 seconds).
Dates of Creation:
2 February 2013
18 minutes 43 seconds
Creator Name:
David Whittle
Admin History:
Ray Chippington was grew up on Wellington Road, Harwich. He survived the 1953 floods, being evacuated to live with his grandparents in London while the family home dried out.
Archivist Note:
SJM September 2017
Custodial History:
The interview was deposited as three separate recordings, which seem to have been recorded in one sitting. The recordings have been noted as separate parts.
Copyright of recording transferred to ESVA but contact Harwich Society prior to use for broadcasting on radio, television, or non-ERO website; copyright of interviewee transferred to Harwich Society.
Originals Location:
Harwich Society
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Floods Interview with Ray Chippington
Personal Names Ray
Interview with Ray Chippington
Document Types Sound recording Interview with Ray Chippington