1987 storm: A frightening but exciting night for Norfolk firefighter

Richard Dromey was a retained firefighter based in Sheringham who was called into action to deal with the aftermath of the great storm of October 1987.

Now, aged 48, he is a group manager for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, based in Great Yarmouth, and remembers the morning of Friday, October 16, 1987, very clearly.

Mr Dromey, right, said: 'I remember being woken up that morning about 5am because you could just hear the wind against the house and then within minutes my pager had gone off and I had to go to the station.

'I guessed it was storm-related because it was like nothing I had seen before and I remember we were one of the last to get turned out that night.

'We didn't have mobile data like we do today, it was all done via a radio, but it was just constant and whoever was on the radio was really struggling to keep up with all the messages.'


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Although north Norfolk was not quite as badly hit by the storm as other areas, the demand on the fire service meant Mr Dromey and his colleagues in Sheringham ended up being called as far round the coast as Overstrand, the other side of Cromer.

Mr Dromey continued: 'It was frightening but it was also very exciting. We were getting call after call until about 10 in the morning when things started to clam down and the winds were nothing like when we were first called out.

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'I remember us getting called to a few cars under trees. One was on Pretty Corner, off Holway Road, where a tree had flattened a car. Fortunately it had hit the front of the car and the driver was able to get out.

'It was quite scary in that area because it is near the woods and we worried that another tree could go down at any time.

'Another was a BMW on Morley Road where a gentleman had just parked up and went inside his house and then a tree fell on the car seconds later, and it was a massive tree, it totally pancaked the car, so he was very lucky.

'You have got your adrenaline going because you have never experienced anything like it.'

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