1987 storm: “The fear of being blown away or crushed was not as strong as the fear of facing my mother if I missed a day of school” - Steve Downes

EDP and North Norfolk News reporter Steve Downes recalls his memories of the October 1987 great storm.

I was 13 at the time of the October 1987 storm, and remember being delighted when I woke up and watched the news on the TV. I was convinced that it meant I would get a day off school.

But I had reckoned without my parents, both of whom were teachers. In their eyes, the little matter of a hurricane was a paltry excuse for a day off – as would have been the sudden loss of a leg or an outbreak of Black Death.

So I donned my bottle green blazer and garish ski jacket and courageously ventured outside to face down Mother Nature in all her fury.

Down the hill I went – or at least tried to go. For the wind was blowing up the hill, and it was as much as I could do to make inch-by-inch progress without being blown back from whence I came.


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But I persevered, growing ever more fearful as I looked around at the broken branches and other damage.

The fear of being blown away or crushed was not as strong as the fear of facing my mother if I missed a day of school, though, so I eventually made it to the gates of Cromer High School – only to find that it had been closed 'for safety reasons'.

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So I turned around and went home in double-quick time, wind-assisted.

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