RRT Aids Flooded Aldeburgh Community

Following the Environment Agency’s Severe Flood Warning for Aldeburgh and Thorpeness in the early morning of 5th December, a regional Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) group were drafted in to assist the community. The local coordinator of the Aldeburgh Rapid Relief Team (RRT) was contacted by the town council requesting support due to the impending floods that were predicted to affect Aldeburgh and its surrounding areas.

Plymouth Brethren - RRT

Car Park at Boat Club – Slaughden

The local RRT, funded by the (PBCC) were organised, and within a swift 30 minutes, the team arrived at the village community centre to begin filling sandbags, provided by the town council.

Plymouth Brethren - Aldburgh RRT

Sand-bagging action

Utilising 15 willing team members and the additional physical support from councillors and village residents, the 17-tonne bags of sand soon vanished into the supplied bags, whilst the Coast Guard made sure that all in the affected area knew sandbags were available and where the location for collection was.

Plymouth Brethren RRT

Sand-bagging action

Over the next two hours, the catering team arrived and commandeered the village hall canteen to create a base for the distribution of refreshments. Tea, coffee, chocolates, biscuits and crisps were available for the workers and also the displaced villagers who had already begun the evacuation of their homes.

Plymouth Brethren - RRT

Sand-bagging action

Work was progressing well and with the light fading towards the evening, the RRT supplied a generator and flood lamps. The team began to get involved in distributing the sandbags at the collection point, while others loaded up a van with sandbags and delivered them into the town to help secure properties where residents were not able to come and collect their own. The local ex-Mayor of Aldeburgh borrowed one of the RRT high visibility vests and was directing village and church traffic into the collection point. She exclaimed: “Thank you – I love you!” as the RRT passed her a steaming hot cup of tea!

By 19.00hrs, there were 15 local residents that were without accommodation due to evacuation procedures, and were now to spend the night in the village hall. Upon speaking to the local council (who had also set up a command post at the hall), the RRT discovered that there was nothing in place to support these villagers in the way of beds and necessary overnight equipment. The team immediately contacted the Ipswich branch of RRT and managed to secure the villagers, 15 mattresses that were delivered rapidly. A search of the hall found enough ‘office dividers’ to create eight cubicles for any of the residents to sleep in. Another member of the RRT appeared with enough blankets and pillows to make all the beds look more than inviting.

Plymouth Brethren - RRT

Mattresses-bedding supplied by the Aldeburgh RRT

As the evening went on, the hall was filling up fast with local residents. The town council (who remained all through the night, along with eight members of the Coastguard Agency, six firefighters, six police officers and eight RNLI personnel. Numerous RRT helpers were still working outside.

At around 20.00hrs, hot soup and chips (supplied by one of the RRT team) were served and were gratefully received by the hungry work crews and villagers who had gathered together.

By 22.00hrs, the RRT had arranged an overnight roster which included four catering staff and two additional male support members to sit through the night in two-hourly shifts to care for the needs of the emergency services staff and the councillors who were still on duty.

Plymouth Brethren - RRT

Village hall – used as HQ for emergency services_council_rest area&_RRT

Various meetings were held throughout the night. The emergency services were still present on the scene and action plans were considered as the water levels increased. Initial concerns were for the sea defences and then two hours later, the river defences, as the water levels continued to rise.

Both held strong and whilst there was the occasional breach of the water defences in places, there were no major occurrences, and by the 02.00hrs shift arrival, the police and Coast Guard Agency gave the all-clear command, meaning the local residents could begin moving back to their own homes again.

Once all the people had left the hall, the RRT set-to and cleared up all the bedding, chairs, kitchens and eating area, finally leaving for their own homes at 03.15hrs following an eventful and busy night.

Plymouth Brethren - RRT


Some of the comments that the RRT received from grateful villagers, members of the town council and emergency services:

“Wonderful organisation: you were so near perfection that you could not improve on anything.”

“We cannot express enough our gratitude for all you have done – I don’t think you can ever know how much it was appreciated that the emergency services just had somewhere to come and defrost and have a hot cuppa.”

A final clean-up was carried out the following day, with the collection of mattresses and last inspection of the kitchens to make sure that all was back to clean and tidy for a local village dance being held at the hall the following evening.

Plymouth Brethren Rapid Relief team


23 thoughts on “RRT Aids Flooded Aldeburgh Community”

  1. dickharryortom says:

    drinks on to ‘ole ‘arry and co.

  2. JON says:

    Good Work chaps!
    Keep it up

  3. JayTee says:

    Dear DF Poodle
    Sorry I could not answer you near your question!

    Yes we do still have a Gospel Hall in Fawcett Road Aldeburgh, where the Gospel is preached some Sunday afternoons. Our main hall is now located in Knodishall about 4 miles out of Aldeburgh – with the preaching time there being at 5:15pm every Sunday afternoon. Our Gospel Preachings are open to all to attend.
    Thanks for your interest.

    1. D F Poodle says:

      Many thanks, we may well attend when we are next visiting family in Suffolk.

      Are there any PBCC members, do you have a Church any where in the Ipswich area?

    2. Jay Tee says:

      DF Poodle,
      Yes we do have a Gospel Hall in Cauldwell Road in Ipswich – again preaching’s are held there every Sunday afternoon at 5:15pm.
      Thanks again for your interest.

  4. MaryJ says:

    Sorry, I don’t want to be a wet blanket… wasn’t that bungalow in Hemsby? There aren’t any bungalows on the cliffs in Hunstanton.

    1. JayTee says:


      You are quite correct – sorry about the error – Geography has never been my strong point!
      Thanks for the correction.

  5. jan says:

    excellent job!!!!!!!

    1. D F Poodle says:

      Well done Plymouth Brethren “team of 15” – you did a great job. I know there used to be, but is there still a Plymouth Brethren meeting room in Aldeburgh where they have gospel preachings?

  6. Grannies Great Grandies says:

    A very big well done once again RRT!
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Granny says:

    Quite different to bush fires – but the same spirit and the same organization as there is at the other side of the world. Ready at a moment’s notice! Great Stuff! Is there still a clean-up going on in this area? we old folk love to know what is happening.

    1. JayTee says:


      thanks for your interest – as far as I know there was not much to be cleaned up – the walls on the sea and river defences held good (thankfully) so it was just a case of the local Council collecting all the sandbags and we now have them in storage awaiting use some other time.

  8. freddy says:

    woooopeeee to ole aldeburgh!!

  9. AEL says:

    What about the other RRTs that helped that night, like Lowestoft? Could they get a mention in recognition of what they did in sandbagging and manning flood defences, please.

    1. dogs and cats says:

      we will wait upon thier report 1st!!!

    2. Bert says:

      Lets not worry too much that your name does not appear here. At the end of the day we are not doing this work, just so we can get a mention on the website. This is the backbone of the PBCC ‘to think of all men’ and this is why we do it. Thanks all the same for whatever you did but you are not the only ones not getting mentioned and who cares – God knows xxx! 🙂

  10. Maud says:

    spiffing work once again RRT!!!! just shows how much can be done when everyone works together!!! 🙂

  11. Royston says:

    Well done!. Great effort to protect life in such a historically valuable area. Aldeburgh is a great place to visit!!

  12. NAFriends says:

    (special well done to “ole harry…that’s a good ole boi!” :)) good stuff…

    let us know if we can help in anyway…out here in Canada!

  13. HarryDickorTom says:

    Yes, excellent to see the amount of comittment from quite reliatively small place. Did Harry’s shed survive the floods??:)

    1. Jay says:

      Yes – as far as I know Harry’s shed survived the ordeal – although that area was badly flooded. Thanks for your comments and interest.

  14. TomDickorHarry says:

    BRILLIANT what your all doing… KEEP IT UP! 🙂
    there’s nothing like being able to rise the spirits of others! 🙂 🙂

  15. Mn says:

    Well done to the RRT in Aldeburgh!!!

Comments are closed.