1953 floods in Lincolnshire: 'I opened the door and it was like the house was in the sea'
Today we share more memories of those who suffered the horror of the great flood of 1953. Richard York and Dan Russell report.
"I STEPPED out the front door – and into the sea."
Kathleen Bickley was just 13 when she witnessed the sea lapping at the front step of her home in Elliston Street, Cleethorpes.
Now aged 63, she recalled: "I had been looking after the little boy next door at my house and realised he had left his teddy behind.
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"It was about 6pm and I said to my mother that I would take the bear next door to him.
"I opened the door and the water was up to the step. I was aghast – it was like the house was in the sea.
"I climbed over the garden wall to give the bear back and told my neighbours about the water.
"I then tried to tell my mother, but she was reading the paper and dismissed what I was saying at first until she realised the water was coming through the back door."
Kathleen said it was a rush to get as many belongings as possible upstairs.
"We had the settee balancing on my grandma's bed and belongings spread across all of the bedrooms. We tried to put the piano on bricks but the water came too quickly.
"My grandmother was living with us as she had severe rheumatoid arthritis, so my mother, two brothers and me had to help get her upstairs.
"And my father had to walk on the coping on the garden walls to reach us, but had to turn back because the water was too high.
"It came up about 3ft in the house which meant all the plaster, carpets and my mother's lino flooring had to be removed. It took months before the house was sorted as we had to wait for it dry out before any work could start."
People driving through Cleethorpes to witness the devastation caused problems for many like Kathleen.
"It was really annoying," she said.
"People driving by in their cars caused the water to flood back into our home after we had swept it all out."