A LOCAL author has just published her first novel on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the North Sea flood.
Cherry Burroughs’ historical fiction The Farmer and The Fury takes place on an island in the Thames Estuary and is modeled after the experiences of those affected by the flood that devastated this corner of the world on January 31, 1953, killing 59 on Foulness Island.
Mrs Burroughs based the book on the experience of her husband and other people in Essex: “I had many conversations with my husband and his fellow farmers about the impact of the Great Flood on the farming community in Essex. The book is about the farmers’ struggle for survival and their attempts to save their farm and land.”
She added: “The great flood was a harrowing experience for my husband and his family who farmed on Foulness Island. He remembers his father telling him that the family had been saved from the floodwaters when he was woken up by the barking of their Labrador, Sam.”
She also explains the devastating impact: “My husband’s earliest childhood memory is of paddling across flooded fields, in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds, to board a fishing boat that took them to land. He also remembers his father’s despair when their livestock drowned or were slaughtered by state welfare inspectors.
“Tons of sea salt destroyed the quality of the soil, and when the floodwaters receded, their fields were covered in white fibers from thousands of drowned earthworms.
“Over 250 farmers were affected by the flood at a time when the country was still suffering from food shortages after the Second World War,” she adds.
Ms Burroughs also felt that the story of the North Sea Flood is even more relevant today, as it approaches its 70th anniversary, as it reminds us of our vulnerability in the face of nature: “this is a topic that is as important today as it was in 1953.” , she says.
With great respect for the historic event of the flood and those affected by it, the book will appeal to people interested in local history and universal human history, and the role that the South East Essex area played in shaping the national consciousness.
“The novel will also allow each reader to immerse themselves in the story and relate it to their own experience of the flood.
“That is why it is dedicated to all those affected by the flood.”
The Farmer and The Fury is available on Amazon, via a link on Mrs Burroughs’ website at: www.cherryburroughs.co.uk
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