CONTINUING our look at the record floods of 1955, we've got some more photos to share with you this week.

Maureen Marchant of St Martin's Field, Martinstown, has shared these photos with us.

The long-term village resident remembers July 1955 and went around the besieged village taking these photos.

She recalls: "It rained and rained. The water didn't come into our house but it was lapping at the back door."

Although the village of Martinstown, near Dorchester, set the Guinness World Record for the highest level of rainfall in 24 hours (12 inches), Maureen remembers that most people showed a resilient attitude.

"If you worked on the farm like our family then you took everything in your stride.

"When you've worked on the farm you've seen all sorts.

"The flooding was really something, but we've seen all weathers and all sorts of blizzards!"

But another part of the village was much worse affected, Maureen said.

"Down in the village along the main road they were much worse affected. The water levels came up and houses were flooded."

Thanks also to Patrick Warne of Portland who has also shared his photos from 1955 with us.

He said: "At the time of the floods I lived in Upwey, I was working at Whitehead Torpedo Factory.

"On my way home I was waiting for the rain to ease off but it didn't so I got my bike and nearly got killed going down Boot Hill because the brakes wouldn't work because of the water.

"I remember when we were walking around Upwey we were helping to find some girl who was missing who worked in the cafe by the Upwey Wishing Well. She later turned up.

"I remember there was someone at the Swan Inn at Broadwey who had to be rescued by a boat.

"I also remember there was a mate of mine whose young brother died."

This brings us to the tragic incident involving Robin Crump who perished in the floods.

Ann Waters, remembering the aftermath, said: "The aftermath was worse.

"The complete surface of the road in Church Street was torn up and a sticky, smelly black ooze pervaded through what was now virtually a river bed, and got into all the cottages along the road.

"All this was trivial, however, compared to the tragedy which followed.

"The village still grieves over the loss of 12 year old Robin Crump who lost his life in Watery Lane after he had been helping clear up all the mess at the Church and the Wishing Well.

"Several of his friends tried to rescue him in vain after he stepped where a manhole cover had been torn up with the force of the water.

"I believe at least one of them, John Jewers who dived repeatedly over 20 ft down to try and rescue him, received an award from the British Humane Society."

Just last month young Robin was remembered in a service at Upwey Church, 60 years after he lost his life.

Robin’s brother Harold wrote to the Echo to say thanks to people for attending the service of remembrance and that it was nice to speak to people afterwards, many of whom still remembered Robin.

Ann said: "Harold and his wife, Daphne, and their family have remembered the loss of their much loved brother especially at this time every year.

"They have worked tirelessly for charities in Weymouth all their lives and Robin would have been so proud of them."

*We'll be featuring a few more photos of the flooding and some more memories next week.


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