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Louth Museum

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Exactly 100 years after the Louth Flood

by Ruth Gatenby

Ramsgate 2020.  Copyright Steve West

Ramsgate 2020. Copyright Steve West

Ramsgate 1920

Ramsgate 1920

Guided group walks had been planned for 29 May 2020 to mark the centenary of the disastrous Louth Flood, but these could not take place because of Covid restrictions.  At the end of May we were, however, allowed out for a walk with a friend, so Susan (our Curator) and I commemorated the flood by following Richard Gurnham’s tour.  We met up with photographers making their record of the town on this day.  One of these was Steve West, and he has kindly donated copies of his photos to the museum.

The photos show the view looking from James Street into Ramsgate in 2020 and in 1920.

In the 2020 photo you can see that the cottages on the left are more modern than those on the right.  This is because it was here that the water rushed down James Street with tremendous force and demolished a group of cottages.  To quote the eyewitness account by Helen Sharpe (see Blog of 25 April 2020) a wall of water six feet high tore through the town.  Helen and her mother did not see the destruction of the houses in Ramsgate, but the cries for help were clearly heard.

Almost everything was swept away in the flood, but in the foreground a treadle sewing machine remains.

The special exhibition in Louth Museum about the Louth Flood continues for the rest of the 2020 season.