What were the consequences of the Flood?

News of the Lynmouth flood spread around the world during the first few days after the catastrophe. Its devastating impact on the people of a small and close knit North Devon community continues to be remembered locally and nationally, not least because in terms of casualties the Lynmouth disaster remains the single worse river flood that Britain has ever experienced.  The following sources of data provide an insight into the impact that the flood had.

Oral History - Personal Experiences of the Flood Disaster

The Exmoor Oral History Archive is a fascinating collection of recordings mostly made between 2000 and 2002, and held on the Somerset County Council website. Among the recordings are a number that contain first hand experiences of the events that had such an impact on Lynmouth in 1952. Below are links to those people's recordings (MP3 format).

The Interviews were undertaken by Birdie Johnson on behalf of the Dulverton and District Civic Society.

Derek Bales -  Arriving with the army at Brushford

Ted Lethaby -  Ferrying passengers by Bus

Muriel Pearcey - Brendon 

John Pedder - The Next Day 

Peter Steer - Exford

Consolidate your thinking

  • From this information try to distinguish between physical impacts (e.g. the consequences for buildings and infrastructure) and social impacts (e.g. the emotional and psychological effects on people and the wider community). 
  • Why do you think that social impacts on a community such as Lynmouth affected by a natural disaster can often be more serious and long lasting?

Go to Investigation 3 - How did the community respond to the disaster?