Local man’s memories used to help play recreate flood drama

Roger Bean at his home in Walcott talking about the floods on 1953.

Roger Bean at his home in Walcott talking about the floods on 1953. - Credit: Archant

It was a night of drama, devastation and tragedy.

Roger Bean, of Walcott, who was seven during the 1953 floods, speaking to Mandy Mckenna of Feast The

Roger Bean, of Walcott, who was seven during the 1953 floods, speaking to Mandy Mckenna of Feast Theatre. - Credit: Archant

Now, more than 60 years on from the floods of 1953, the events of that evening are to be made into a play.

A theatre group based in Banningham, between Alysham and North Walsham, is staging the new production, Winter '53, which tells the story of a family facing the deadly tide that swept in that night.

Written by Rob John and directed by Mandy Mckenna, it is part of a trilogy of Norfolk-themed plays.

The actors will be joined by a chorus which includes the voiced memories of those who lived through the disaster.

Wreckage on the beach in Walcott after the 1953 flood.

Wreckage on the beach in Walcott after the 1953 flood. - Credit: Archant

One man, who was seven when the flood hit, is Roger Bean, 70, from Walcott. He said: 'I walked out the following morning and the roads were washed away, bungalows were hanging off the edge and people's possessions were in the sea.

'It was like a war zone, the whole place had changed. We had to climb over things, it was complete chaos and utter devastation.'

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Mr Bean was interviewed in his home, on Coast road, by Miss McKenna. She said: 'It's the little things that make the memories so vivid and dramatic.

'Roger was able to give us a seven year old's recollection of the sound of the wind, a knock on the door late at night and his shock when he found that the road he walked each day to school had just vanished in the night.'

The play runs from April 16-30 next year and will be at venues including The Garage at Norwich, Sheringham Little Theatre and The Atrium in North Walsham.

The writers are still looking to meet other people who experienced the floods. Anyone willing to take part can contact Mandy McKenna on 07799191492.

Are you involved in a project to remember a moment in our history? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk