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Canvey mural tells story of Great Flood of 1953
A MURAL commemorating the Great Flood of 1953 has been officially unveiled on Canvey.
The 80m artwork, at Concord Beach, was revealed at a dedication ceremony on Tuesday.
Fifty-nine people from Canvey died in the flood and 13,000 were evacuated from their homes.
The mural, completed thanks to a £10,000 grant from Heritage Lottery Fund and grants from the Arts Council, depicts the flood and the development of the seawall from the Dutch wall in the 17th century to the existing wall, which the Environment Agency says will last until 2070.
The Friends of Concord Beach and Canvey Community Archive joined forces to complete the project with the help of amateur and professional artists.
Colin Letchford, chairman of the friends, said: “It was a fantastic day and the ceremony went really well.
“It was a wonderful atmosphere.
The Rev David Tudor did us proud with a lovely dedication ceremony.
“It’s been fantastic and a very rewarding experience. I would like to thank everybody who helped and who came down to see the mural.
“I really hope people will continue to come down and enjoy it and get the sense that our seawall is a very strong defence and people should feel safe.”
Guests included survivors, victims’ families and representatives from the Flood Museum, in Holland.
Resident Judy Dolby found her story on the mural. Artist Sue Pattle told the story of how the then three-year-old Judy was rescued from her home and carried to safety by PC Bobby Pilgrim.
Balloons were released in memory of the victims.
Canvey Island West councillor Ray Howard, who was responsible for the work, addressed guests after the ceremony at the Windjammer pub.
He said: “I’m delighted and full of praise for the Friends of Concord Beach and the Community Archive, who have made the beach into something thousands of people come to.
“They are wonderful murals and the way it has been planned is unbelievable.
“This has been an example of the community rallying around to make something great.”
Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris said: “It’s a spectacular tribute to the history of Canvey.
“Colin Letchford and everyone else who helped make the dream come alive deserves all thanks from the community and the Heritage Lottery Fund that made it all possible.”