Essex Talks: Tim Burrows in conversation with Hana Loftus and Ken Worpole


Essex Talks: Tim Burrows in conversation with Hana Loftus and Ken Worpole

Thursday 16 February 2023 | 7:00 pm

Please note this event will take place in-person in our building. To access the livestream of this talk online, please click here


Tim Burrows, architect Hana Loftus (Director of HAT Projects) and writer Ken Worpole (author of ‘350 Miles: An Essex Journey’) discuss the Essex Flood of 1953 – one of the worst natural disasters in British history.

On 31 January 1953, a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm over the North Sea caused the sea to breach over 1200 sea defences along the East Anglia coast, with Essex sea walls breached in 300 places. 104 people died in Essex. Thousands more were left homeless. 

Tim, Hana, Ken discuss the impacts of this tragic event across Essex and its legacy 70 years on, reflecting on how we can approach the risk which still exists, while ensuring communities affected are supported equitably. 


Early bird ticket offer – book early and save!

Tickets until 5 Feb:

Standard £18, Concessions £15, Students £10


Tickets from 6 Feb:

Standard £20, Concessions £17, Students £12


About our speakers:


Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a journalist and author who has written about society, culture and place for the Guardian, New Statesman, Vice, the Daily Telegraph, Dazed & Confused, the Quietus and Somesuch Stories, among others. A recurring subject in his work is Essex and the Thames Estuary. His Guardian longread on the rise of Essex in the public consciousness was received with widespread acclaim in 2019, and his book ‘The Invention of Essex’ will be published by Profile Books in June 2023. He lives in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.


Hana Loftus

Hana Loftus co-directs HAT Projects, an architecture and planning practice based in Colchester. She has over 20 years of experience working on a wide range of projects in coastal communities, from Hastings to Great Yarmouth. HAT Projects is based in Trinity Works, a creative workspace hub developed by the practice in Colchester town centre, which is also home to Colchester Makerspace and Patch.


Hana grew up in the coastal floodplain, with stories of the 1953 floods, and started to study coastal change on the East Coast at school. Through HAT Projects, she has been working with Tendring Council on the long-term regeneration strategy for Jaywick Sands, a community highly threatened by sea level rise, and has recently developed new planning guidance for Jaywick, in close collaboration with the Environment Agency. Hana is also chair of the Creative Colchester Partnership, co-chair of the Suffolk Design Review Panel, and writes regularly for planning and architecture publications.



Ken Worpole

Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, and author of a number of books on architecture, landscape and public policy. He lived on Canvey Island as a child, and has since written much about the unique landscape of coastal Essex, notably in 350 Miles: An Essex Journey, The New English Landscape, and most recently, No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen: back to the land in wartime Britain. The New Statesman observed recently that: Worpole is a literary original, a social and architectural historian whose books combine the Orwellian ideal of common decency with understated erudition.’


Our talks and events help raise vital funds for Firstsite

By purchasing tickets to this talk you will help to keep our exhibitions free for everyone and fund community projects like our Holiday Fun programme which provides free art and movement activities and meals to families facing economic challenges .

Ticket prices:

Standard £18.00 Concessions £15.00 Students £10.00

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Dates and times

Thursday 16 February 2023 | 7:00 pm

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