Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Harbour Inn

I'm rather fond of pub signs so when approaching the Harbour Inn at Black Shore this was an irresistible photo, a rather romantic view of a fisherman in calm waters
'Relentless' on the River Ore
but then a slightly larger fishing boat we watched the following day on a nearby river may not have fitted the sign.  Continuing my walk past the pub I came to its other sign  
Harbour Inn, Black Shore, Southwold, Suffolk
of stormier weather and the reason can be spotted half way down the wall  which marks the flood level in 1953.  The inn sits beside the north bank of the River Blyth, a tidal estuary of marshes and flood plains.  The pub floods so the ground floor kitchen is on wheels, the fridges have the electric at the top and the plugs are near the ceiling. The landlord, Nick Attfield was reported as saying "I knew what I was taking on and its part of the charm here".
But the recent floods though inconvenient were nothing compared to the "perfect storm" of 1953 when a high spring tide met a deep depression and gale force northerly winds, creating a surge of water that deluged the east coast rising 10 feet above normal levels here and rushing half a mile inland.  The town of Southwold which is surrounded by rivers became an island.  It was the worst peace time disaster.  Known as the North Sea Flood over 300 people died on the east coast of Britain but the Netherlands counted their dead in thousands.  In this area of Suffolk I read a quote that said it was a year before the earthworm was seen again.  The land was not farmed for three years.

On the sunny day we past the fishing huts, some selling their catch, some just at rest and 

people waiting in holiday mood by the calm waters for the Walberswick ferry (which is a rather grand title for a rowing boat) I would never have imagined a disaster on this scale in this quiet corner of England.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet



VioletSky said...

I have never lived through a flood and it is hard to imagine anything of that scale.
Very ingenious to put the kitchen on wheels!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful pictures (love the pub sign along with the real fishing boats -- great)...and very interesting and sad bit of history. I would never have thought of a flood there.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. Interesting place has gone through so much in 1953.

Roger Owen Green said...

1953 was the year I was born; sad that it has bad memories for some.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Dave said...

Wow, that flooding sure was high! - Dave

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team said...

Whoa that must have been quite a flood.

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team

eJoops said...

Uh oh, flood is scary.!

Hygiene, your comment will be highly appreciated.
Have a great Wednesday

J.Rye said...

Flood is terrible.

Human Nest
Come and see.

Paula Scott said...

It is easy to see why you are fond of pub signs!

Gattina said...

What a nice looking pub ! These people are used to floodings, but the 1953 flooding was horrible, I was a child but can remember some pictures of the Dutch Queen wearing boots and helped pulling out people from the water. I think that's what impressed me at that time I think I was about 9 or 10.