1987 storm: “I didn’t grasp how serious it all was” - Dan Grimmer

Evening News and EDP reporter Dan Grimmer recalls his experience of the October 1987 storm.

I can't claim to have seen trees flying through the air or roofs of homes being whipped away by the winds during the 1987 storm. But, as a 13-year-old, I did do a couple of pretty stupid things because of the gales.

The winds woke me up in the early hours at my home in Norwich but I don't think I really grasped how big a deal it all was. Unable to get back to sleep, though, I put the telly on. I think Anglia had only just started broadcasting through the night at that time and I happened upon a cartoon called Once Upon A Time Man. Something was up with the picture, though, and it was all blurry in green and red.

Those were the days when comics such as Eagle and Tiger regularly gave away free 3D glasses, which happened to be red and green. So I put them on and watched telly, half-convincing myself the cartoon was in 3D.

I stayed up all night and headed out for my paper round at about 6am, at which point the wind was nowhere near as strong as it had been, but it was still enough to lose me a couple of papers.

Strangely, I can't remember if my school shut, but I do remember being a bit worried about the fate of Rene out of 'Allo 'Allo whose car, the TV told me, had been crushed by a tree.

The next day my dad, contrary to every warning going, took me to a woods somewhere near Stratton Strawless where I clambered over all sorts of fallen trees. I seem to also remember heading out to Cromer, where I was mortified to discover the arcade buildings on the pier had been flattened.

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I really don't think I grasped how serious it all was.