1953 East Coast floods: Sister proudly remembers brother's rescue efforts
THE proud sister of a man who was awarded a medal for his efforts to rescue people from the 1953 East Coast floods, has spoken of his efforts.
Maisie Long, 84, who now lives in the Grimsby area, said her brother Raymond Hasthorpe had been involved in the rescue efforts in Saltfleet purely by chance.
She said: “He had taken my dad over to Saltfleet to see his brother and, after he dropped him off, he went to the pub with his friend Len Vessy.
“While they were in the pub, the cry went up that people needed to be rescued from some nearby bungalows and they went to help.
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“Saltfleet is only a little village, but it did get hit quite badly.
“The houses were mostly holiday bungalows, so I would think the people in them were vulnerable people.
“Len was smaller than him, so he helped them to get out and Ray – who was stronger – carried them away to safety on his back.”
Soon after, Ray received a letter from Buckingham Palace telling him he was to be honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) which he was presented with at Lincoln Cathedral.
Unfortunately, Mrs Long does not have the medal – which she believes may now be being looked after by one of Ray’s three stepsons – or a picture of her brother receiving it.
However, she still proudly recalls his role in saving many lives that day.
Mrs Long said: “He was so disappointed that Len didn’t get one as well.
“He always said if it hadn’t been for him, he wouldn’t have been able to rescue as many as he did.
“I don’t know how many they rescued that night, but I think it was quite a few.”
To mark the 60th anniversary of the East Coast Floods, the Grimsby Telegraph is staging an exhibition of photographs and front pages from the archives.
The Telegraph was there to capture the disaster and the aftermath; the damage, the human interest stories and the heartache.
With 100 photographs and front pages, we remind readers of the tragic stories, the tales of heroism and royal visits.
The exhibition is on now and runs until Monday, March 4, at the Discovery Centre, in Cleethorpes, during its opening hours.