01/02/2013

Norfolk Green unveils special bus to remember those who perished and the bravery of the rescuers in the North Sea Floods of 1953

Yesterday (Thursday 31st January) marked 60 years since the devastating North Sea Floods of 1953, and series of memorial services took place around the coast including in Hunstanton, where a special Norfolk Green bus to remember those who perished and the bravery of the rescuers on that fateful night was unveiled.

The bus (Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG) has been named Reis L Leming, the US Airman who heroically saved the lives of 27 Hunstanton residents in the North Sea Floods of 31st January 1953, despite being unable to swim.

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Reis L Leming's name on Optare Spectra 2

Mr Leming's family were guests of the town for the days events which as well as the bus naming included a parade by members of the American air force's 67th Special Operations Squadron from RAF Mildenhall and a service at a memorial on Hunstanton seafront to remember the 31 people who died in Hunstanton on the night of the great storm.

David Bell, who suggested to Norfolk Green about naming a bus after Reis Leming, attended the event and has sent us a lovely selection of photographs showing the special bus, which is also decorated with photographs of the floods from the Eastern Daily Press archive.

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Offside view showing the vehicles special branding

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Close up of some of the offside archive photos, the large one shows Reis Leming wading through the flood waters.

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Nearside view showing the vehicles special branding

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Close up of marker showing how flood waters rose to 11 feet above sea level.

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Close up showing a list on the side of the bus to thanks those involved with the project

Norfolk Green Optare Spectra 2 YE52FHG with new branding to commemorate the North Sea Floods of 1953 (c) David Bell
Rear end which features the front cover of the Eastern Daily Press dated 1st February 1953.

Well done to Norfolk Green and all those involved for coming up with this wonderful tribute.

For more on yesterdays flood memorial events in Hunstanton click here to read the EDP's news article

The photographs used in this post were kindly supplied by and are © David Bell