ON the eve of the anniversary of the 1953 Canvey flood disaster, a university is asking if any lessons have been learned.

Today such floods, caused by storm surges, are predicted by a warning system implemented after the 1953 flood.

Despite the warning system, coastal flooding remains a key concern both for residents and government. In 2007 warnings from the system led to the government calling a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee.The impact of coastal flooding is predicted to become worse due to climate change.

The early history of this warning system and who paid for the research behind it has recently been researched by Anna Carlsson-Hyslop from the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, funded by the ESRC.

Scientists based at the Liverpool Observatory and Tidal Institute had researched storm surges since the 1920s.

The scientists, housed in the Bidston Observatory on the Wirral peninsula, had been funded by the shipping industry, the Navy and local government, but central government rejected funding requests for surge science until after the 1953 flood.