July 31 2014 Latest news:
Monday, October 15, 2012
Here is a look back at our coverage of the 1987 storm from 23rd October 1987.
Gale-ravaged towns and villages dusted themselves down this week after being buffeted by the worst winds in living memory.
Tangled trees still littered many roadsides and balding tile less roofs are a reminder of a hurricane which briefly brought life to a standstill in many communities.
But as folk in South Norfolk and North Suffolk worked hard to get back to normal life, stories of danger, destruction and the Dunkirk spirit were still being talked about – like:
- Lorry driver John Nunn whose truck was surrounded by falling trees and power poles near his home at Scole Common. As he jumped clear to inspect the damage another tree crushed the cab.
- Wedding plans for Jo Gowing and David Amies suffered a nasty blow too – the giant 80ft by 40ft marquee set up for the reception on the front lawn of the bride’s parents’ home at Grange Farm, Fritton, near Hempnall, was crushed to the ground by the high winds – nut kind-hearted local Liberal party members came to the rescue by switching their event to another venue, allowing the wedding reception to go ahead in the village hall.
- Main roads were cleared of tumbledown trees by lunchtime, but minor ones were still blocked almost a week later. Few properties escaped roof damage in Market Hill and St Nicholas Street. It was boom time for local roofing contractors, with one in the Diss area reporting calls flooding in at a rate of one every two minutes.
- Market day was scrapped in Diss, with stallholders deciding against risking their goods and flimsy stalls in the appalling conditions.
- And there was a cold start to the day for office staff at Rutters estate agency where eight windows were blown out. Manager Mr Kevin Parson said: “We lost 50 per cent of all our glass, but we managed to open for business as usual – wearing coats! There wasn’t much damage inside, but all our papers were blown about and messed up. We had the windows boarded up as soon as possible, but they will all have to be replaced with plate glass.”
The hurricanes changed the landscape, destroying many beautiful old trees. Diss churchyard lost a 150-year-old lime tree and a towering 70-year-old sycamore at the park fell on to gardens, but away from the main Victoria Road.
Hartismere High School at Eye cancelled two big events because of the storms. The presentation of £2000 worth of charity cash raised during a summer sponsored walk should have taken place at assembly but pupils were told to stay away when the school lost its heating and lighting. And a money-raising draw and cabaret at the school on Saturday was also called off said headmaster Mr Richard Hewitt.
Power failure at Eye meant an impromptu candlelit sherry party for residents of Paddock House old folk’s home.
And ruby wedding couple George and Barbara Thurston had a candlelit tea – but not the romantic one we planned. Friends from the Horseshoes Inn had clubbed together to buy the couple a trip on a special “Orient Express” train to London, featuring a champagne reception, followed by seeing the top show “42nd Street”. But when the Friday trains were cancelled they ended up cooking cups of tea by candlelight at their Langton Green home, “And instead of a musical I had to listen to the howling gales.” Said Mrs Thurston.