Horse hero found after nationwide appeal

  • A girl who rescued her pony from West Country floods 50 years ago has been found after a nationwide appeal

    A nationwide search by the RSPCA to find a young girl who rescued her pony from the 1952 Lynmouth flood disaster has ended in success.

    Fifty years on from the devastating floods, Jennifer Lidsey (nee Pearce) was located living in the Cotswolds after a schoolfriend read about the appeal in the Western Morning News and contacted her.

    On the evening of 15 August 1952, torrential rain fell over Exmoor and the rivers of the East and West Lyn overwhelmed the picturesque village killing 34 people and destroying many houses.

    Eleven-year-old Jennifer was given an RSPCA award after she waded through torrents of water at the rear of the Lyndale Hotel to rescue her pony Lynbelle, who was tied up in her stable.

    The pony was immersed in 18ins of water, and Jenniferhad to push floating cars out of the way to lead Lynbelle back across the car park to the safety of the churchyard.

    Jennifer said: “It was dark because all the electricity had gone, so I couldn’t reach for a halter, but Lynbelle was good as gold and just followed me to the churchyard.”

    Within a couple of hours the churchyard had started to flood so Jennifer moved the pony to the coal cellar.

    “The village was a totally changed place afterwards” she said “andthere was tremendous sadness.”

    RSPCA south west regional manager Jonathan Silk said: “”We’re delighted to have found Jennifer after what turned into a nationwide search.”

    Jennifer will now be one of the guests of honour at the RSPCA display of memorabilia being organised as a commemoration of the flood disaster on 15 August.

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