Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great Storm of 53

Sixty years since the great storm of 1953 wreaked havoc on our coastline and I'm sure all of us would be daunted by the size of the 100 foot wave that one enterprising surfer caught in the seas off Portugal this week.

In the mid eighties, I stayed with friends on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and watched the bravest surfers riding some of the biggest waves there. It's the only time ever, when I cam close to drowning, when in the same bay that Captain Cook once anchored, I forgot to leave a relatively modest wave before it broke and this then slammed me into the sea floor, with enormous force and I was trapped like a helpless kitten in a washing machine for rather too long.

Harbour Arm - Storm of 1953
I noticed that Mr Margate, 'MickT', was on the BBC South-east news last night, reminiscing about the great storm but I can't recall if he was Mayor at the time? I will ask him later!

Remaining with the subject of Margate and Mayors, the Charter Trustees of the town, now have to decide whether Margate will have a town council or not. On a personal note, I'd say that what seems like the inevitable has been valiantly resisted for some time now but at a time of austerity and costs cutting the debate is unavoidable.

I'm sorry to see that we will be losing one of our green-grocers in Westgate, next-door to the Co-Op next week. Another empty shopfront, with the Air Ambulance shop also closing, is a bit of a blow and it's not yet clear what the landlord's plans are for the site, having served notice on the business. I wish Sam and everyone else that worked there over the years and in all weathers, the very best of luck for the future.

Margate Flooded 1953
While I'm thinking of other items of news, I was stopped by a dog-owner yesterday on the seafront at St Mildred's Bay, who was looking for a lost white 'Staffie' bitch from Adrian Square. I have his number and so  should any local pet detective have some news, please get in touch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the BBC clip, you will have seen some video of the flood (including dead sheep). There is a half hour video of this that includes american bulldozers and steam shovels from Manston, assisting in reinstating the railway....David Linnington of the Ploughmans Choice farm shop has these for sale!