Interview with Malcolm MacGregor, 13 June 2019
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Scope and Content:
Malcolm MacGregor [MM] interviewed by Carol Dawson [CD] on 13 June 2019 in Brightlingsea. MM talks about the period leading up to the flood, his family’s escape, his efforts to prevent flooding since, the response of the authorities, his thoughts about the prospects of future flooding, and meeting other flood survivors.

[00:00:39] MM talks about how long he has lived in the area . Worked with a fisherman from Brightlingsea and lived at Lee-Over-Sands at the time of the flood. Father was estate manager, family owned land where they grazed cattle.

[00:02:25] Remembers period leading up to flood; extremely windy, work as a fisherman, selling starfish as fertiliser.

[00:04:04] Doesn’t recall any warnings prior to the flood. Noticed tide hadn’t fallen as expected. Woke up family when he noticed beginnings of flood. Got a dinghy for family to escape in; father got stuck in house, MM and brother broke down door to let him out.

[00:07: 18] Recalls cutting fences to escape. Remembers floating haystacks and collapsing telegraph poles. Sister’s Exmoor pony swam behind boat. Brother got caught temporarily in fence. Cattle got caught and many drowned.

[00:09:50] Ended up on Andrew Smith’s land. Recalls Smith’s van becoming waterlogged as he tried to rescue cattle.

[00:10:56] Recalls surprise that flooding had happened further north, too. Stayed with Smith and returned home two weeks later; council could not house them.

[00:12:07] Lived in various places before retuning to Lee-Over-Sands and then moved to Brightlingsea. Worried about flooding happening again, especially due to scale of flooding in Holland. Mentions bungalows on Thames estuary. Concerns about people living in vans; met with councillor. Comments that global warming isn't making a huge difference, but worried about floods as a result.

[00:15:51] Given £300 to cover damaged house and contents. No other support. Remember doing drills in Royal Navy as national service. Learnt a lot there; cooking. Helped bring aggregate to Thames bank to reinforce flood barrier; reed mats to stop erosion.

[00:19:46] Talks about his family background; father a Merchant Navy service officer at sea; worked with United Fruit Company. Father’s brothers in the army. Recalls many more people working with boats; nine or ten boats at Point Clear, which council requisitioned to save people around Jaywick. Expresses doubt that there would be enough boats for such a rescue effort now.

[00:21:21] Describes a meeting of 300 other flood survivors in Southend-on-Sea. Predicts that the flooding will happen again.
Dates of Creation:
13 June 2019
24 minutes 0 seconds
Creator Name:
Carol Dawson (interviewer)
Admin History:
Malcolm MacGregor had lived in the area for 57 years. He was 86 years old at the time of the interview and was 19 at the time of the flood.
Archivist Note:
Acquisition Source:
Deposited at the ERO in March 2020 by the Friends of Jaywick Martello Tower
Copyright transferred to the Essex Sound and Video Archive and the Friends of Jaywick Martello Tower
Physical Characteristics:
1 MP3 file (created from original WAV file)
Dates of Description:
05 October 2022