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Memories of 'The Great Storm.'

(45 Posts)
Imperfect27 Mon 16-Oct-17 06:55:52

Definitely a North/South divide when this storm occurred.
We lived in Folkestone at the time in a second floor maisonette. We could feel the chimneys shifting.

The following morning we awoke to see that there were trees down in the avenue where we lived, but we had no idea of the true extent of the damage until later.

We had to go on a journey that day, to London Colney. It should have taken about 5 hours to get there by coach and then rail and a short car ride at the end. It turned into an epic that lasted 12 hours. I was 2 months pregnant with DS1 at the time and feeling very sickly too.

On the coach we were amazed at the devastation we saw as we passed through the countryside whole orchards wiped out and we had to sit through road closures / re-routing and finally got off the coach after about 8 hours. Then faced train delays.

When we arrived at our destination (a theological retreat that was a 'must attend' for H who was an ordinand in training), everyone else there was bemused by the problems we had encountered as they had all travelled from the North.

The night of the storm, I also remember Sevenoaks became one oak. My brother had been out 'wetting the baby's head as his son had been born 2 days earlier. He had walked home in the wee hours and been overtaken by a shed hurtling down the road ...

Does anyone else have particular memories (apart from Michael Fish announcing ' Some say there is a hurricane on its way, but I don't think so...'smile )

ninathenana Mon 16-Oct-17 07:06:50

D was due on 15th.
We were very lucky, H and I slept through it smile the only damage for us was 2-3 dislodged roof tiles. There was nothing major in our town, although we had the usual fence panel and greenhouse blown down.
Along the coast caravan sites were distroyed

MawBroon Mon 16-Oct-17 08:11:11

I remember arriving home, horrified to see our rabbit hutch (a very big one) was not in the garden. Imagining a sort of “Wizard of Oz” scenario (with an unhappy ending) I was hugely relieved when my nearest neighbour appeared to tell me that she and her little boy had seen it starting to lift in the wind, so they had (somehow) dragged it into our garage through the side door which was always unlocked!
I also remember driving down to visit the in-laws in Rye the following weekend and being horrified at the devastation (as well as very late for lunch because many of the side roads were closed) Has it really been 30 years....?

ninathenana Mon 16-Oct-17 08:23:39

D gets miffed when I bring up the fact she was due that night whenever the storm is mentioned.
I would not be aware it was that long ago if it wasn't for that fact Maw

downtoearth Mon 16-Oct-17 08:38:19

We lived in Essex at the time,and awike to the sound of a loud noise from the roof ..thought it was caving in...jumped out of bed and run to my children to find it was slates dislodging abd coming off...we had just recently had a new all electric kitchen so had no power my then husband who worked for one of the utilities had an all purpose lorry with a gas bottle and camping type stove set up a tea kitchen type thing for us and neighbours without power...we where lucky only lost a slate and had a wonky TV aerial , but others where not so fortunate as on my way into work noticed so much devastation

Nelliemoser Mon 16-Oct-17 09:31:45

This picture is of todays prediction for the track of the storms.

Not again! It was never going to be a hurricane. It was a severe storm.
A hurricane is a particular weather system and moves in a very particular way. The wind speeds might reach very high speeds on the Beaufort wind scales but it was NOT a hurricane.

If you are trying to get just a degree of scientific information through to people it does need to be very accurate. That is why we have accurate shipping forecasts and weather.
Well at least as accurate as our chaotic weather systems allow.
Coucils need to know about such things . "Do we allow the outdoor market stalls to be put up today or is it too windy to be safe."

www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/marine/beaufort-scale
Of course our press likes nothing better that making a mole hill into a mountain if it can. Never let the truth ruin a good story .

NanaandGrampy Mon 16-Oct-17 09:33:05

We lived in Essex and as the storm got worse ( and louder) first one child ran in , to get into bed, then the other. Then our 2 Bernese Mountain dogs ( about 9 stone a piece) thundered upstairs to get on the bed .

Then we thought about the guinea pig and rabbit so poor DH went downstairs to rescue them ( not to put in the bed I hasten to add) and rescue what little of the washing that had been left on the line.

We then watched in awe as the wind knocked down a huge tree just outside our garden , luckily it fell away from the house.

I think the ‘ highlight’ of the storm for DH was watching our neighbours old Robin Reliant tip over and slowly drag down the street with each gust .!

merlotgran Mon 16-Oct-17 10:41:41

It was an awful time for us sad

DFil dropped dead with a heart attack after suffering a panic attack when a large tree in their garden crashed to the ground missing their French windows by inches. sad

All phone lines were down so we didn't hear about it until the day after.

That's all I'm saying really in case this thread ends up on Facebook. hmm

Teacheranne Mon 16-Oct-17 10:53:18

I was 8 months pregnant with my third child that night and my daughter, aged 12 months (yes, less than 13 months between them!) was rather poorly and on antibiotics. My hubby was away in Scotland so I was left on my own, with no power, one candle but only one match, to see enough to pour the medicine! We were pretty much trapped in the house the following day due to all the fallen trees, multiple road closures and all local schools were closed. We lived in Wokingham, Berkshire then.

I fared rather better than my neighbour whose entire load of washing disappeared from her line! But I now keep a plentiful supply of candles and matches, "just in case!"

grumppa Mon 16-Oct-17 10:57:06

Home unscathed, but it was an interesting time to be working in the insurance industry.

MawBroon Mon 16-Oct-17 10:58:58

Merlotgran how dreadful. It is too easy to remember the amusing (even scary) anecdotes but forget the individual tragedies.
30 years late, my sympathies. flowers

Newquay Mon 16-Oct-17 11:02:02

We were OK in Midlands but dear friend's mother was in hospital on south coast (turned out to be terminal stomach cancer). Walls of hospital began to bulge so they were being evacuated. Friend's mother went back in to retrieve new nightie she'd bought.
Btw-When they finally told her it was stomach cancer and nothing could be done, she should have presented earlier, my friend nearly clocked the doc as her Mum had been presenting for nearly two years! Grrr

merlotgran Mon 16-Oct-17 11:06:47

Thank you, Maw.

The weird thing is there was so much to do, so many obstacles to overcome that it didn't really hit us until we heard on the car radio that Jacqueline du Pré had also died that night. sad

After the funeral, DH was only too happy to take his chain saw to that bloody tree!!

petra Mon 16-Oct-17 11:31:53

Fortunately for us the tide didn't come in that night, we were living on our boat. If it had, I think it would have been abandon ship grin

AlieOxon Mon 16-Oct-17 13:19:19

I only remember trees being down like spillikins when we visited Stonor afterwards.

But - isn't the sky looking a very odd colour right now?

annodomini Mon 16-Oct-17 13:29:28

Alie, now you mention it, there's a funny yellowish tinge to the clouds here in Cheshire and it isn't the sun! Hope you're safe in Oxfordshire.

lemongrove Mon 16-Oct-17 13:35:33

Yes Alie the sky is a weird yellow and the wind is getting up, yet the iPad tells me it’s all sunny and clear here, it isn’t!

lemongrove Mon 16-Oct-17 13:37:18

The night of the ‘hurricane’ ( poor Michael Fish)😆 we all slept happily through it, but saw many trees down the next day.

AlieOxon Mon 16-Oct-17 13:46:22

I think it's more orange and it's supposed to be Sahara sand..

lemongrove Mon 16-Oct-17 13:50:14

Yes, it’s getting darker now, a sort of tangerine colour.

AlieOxon Mon 16-Oct-17 13:50:52

Our local forecast says sunny too and it's not.
Wind 40mph (not yet) lessening later.
Sun not visible at all just now. Sky even oranger.

lemongrove Mon 16-Oct-17 13:55:35

It’s a kind of ‘end of the world’ look Alie ooh err😱

AlieOxon Mon 16-Oct-17 13:57:40

Try
www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/orange-sky-storm-ophelia-sahara-13767164

It is very weird.

AlieOxon Mon 16-Oct-17 14:22:15

Now fading - more like very low grey clouds.

lemongrove Mon 16-Oct-17 14:34:50

Yes, fading and more normal now, but orange sun. I put a pic on the other thread about it.