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'My Memories of the 1947 Cowbit Wash floods'




Referring to your article about the tanks used as flood defences during the 1947 floods.

The preceding winter had the most snow we had seen and it was the melting snow that caused the devastating flood at Cowbit Wash which had a flood virtually every year.

The snow was so deep that no usual road traffic could use the country roads.

Archive image of the 1947 floods in Crowland, showing the Buffalo tanks. Photo supplied. (47182659)
Archive image of the 1947 floods in Crowland, showing the Buffalo tanks. Photo supplied. (47182659)

Old tractors had big wheels at the back but only small ones at the front – my father got on one and reversed three miles to get some food.

I was at school in Hunstanton and I saw the sea had frozen into huge blocks of ice as big as cars. One night the wind was so strong that the glass was blown out of the windows across our beds.

We also marched to Redgate Hill, which was the road into Hunstanton, and the snow was 20 feet deep, with prisoners of war digging it out by hand, while Hunstanton was cut off for one week.

When I came home, my father drove me around Cowbit Wash and in places the road was only half width. Our car was a big American Pontiac and being
only 11-years-old,I was quite scared, with the waves hitting the car and water coming in from under the doors.

I think a small car would have been blown off the road.

Some rabbits were able to climb some old willow trees and big corn stacks were floating like ships.

When the water receded, one stack was in the middle of the road where it had to be threshed.

John Wright

Holbeach St Johns



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