Happy Birthday Great Storm of 1987!

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  • Happy Birthday Great Storm of 1987!
  • Where did the time go?

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Slept through it but waking up was a surprise.
    A couple of days later we drove down to Brighton to see New Model Army. Seeing all the trees laying down in a line at the side of the m23 must have made an impression on the band as well, as they dedicated White Coats to the storm.

    Somehow I slept through the worst of it, but woke early to find that the landscape had changed. After a two day power cut, running low on camping gas, batteries, tinned food and candles, i decided that I would be far better prepared for the Next One…

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Lived right next to a wood. With oak trees tall enough to take out the house. Some fell, but they were ca. 100m away. All night long it was branches landing on my bedroom roof, and rolling down. No damage to our house, but gable ends and roof tiles spacked on most other houses.

    The weekend before, we chopped down the neighbours’ tree that was “dangerous” (technically it was beyond the boundary, with the pavement swerving around it, which confused the local council, so as they didn’t want to do anything, we did). Glad we did. Told the council that it blew down in the storm, that we tidied it up, and told them to make good their stump (think they did about a decade later).

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    You are a day early surely?

    It was the night/morning of October the 15th/16th.

    It was a ‘one in three hundred year’ storm, we wouldn’t see it’s like until around 2287… then came the great Burn’s Day Blow of 1990…

    Tonight the forecast is for blustery weather, but “nothing to worry about” says the cheerful weather girl…

    crazybrab
    Member

    Indeed.

    At sea for over 12 hours, on ferry from Zeebrugge to Dover. Three generations of our family were very nearly wiped out overnight.

    What storm? 😛

    You may have missed it. For we southerners it was a life-defining event.

    just a normal day in the north – darn sarth all the trees fell over and straw blew off the roofs.

    And three days after the stock market crashed…

    My memory is going – I though it was the night before the 87 stock market crash (19 October and now my wedding anniversary!). The 18-19 was pretty stormy too. My bedroom was being painted and so no curtains up. I spent all night watching tree outside looking as if it was going to blown through and on top of me!!

    tinsy
    Member

    I slept through it, got to my car in the morning & couldnt work out why it was all sticky, out of my cul de sac & into the Avenue, the word Avenue in my mental ditcionary usually meant road lined with tree’s, but not that day, it was road covered in trees, the sticky stuff all over the car was apparently sap.

    organic355
    Member

    ooooh, free firewood.

    Tat Wink
    Member

    Twas indeed a mental night and such devastation!!

    Will never forget it!!

    footflaps
    Member

    Our local woodland park lost 40% of its trees that night 🙁

    avdave2
    Member

    I was in the garden with my dad trying to stop the shed going through the patio doors. It lifted both of us of the floor a couple of inches at one point.I was working as a postman at the time and for a few weeks you didn’t walk up anyones path without looking up first for tiles waiting to fall on your head

    aleigh
    Member

    I slept through it too and then walked past the aftermath on my way to school

    one of my earliest memories was being carried from the car over the road to my great aunty and uncles house in the storm, saw a car get lifted over further down the road. i was just about to turn 3 years old.

    Premier Icon cotic853
    Subscriber

    I stupidly rode to work that morning when it was still pretty blowy. I was mainly sheltered by buildings but everytime I went past a gap the gusts nearly blew me across the road. However I did enjoy the obstacle course that the wind had created, trees, bins, bus shelters etc

    m1kea
    Member

    I was working at a LBS back then.

    Slept through the storm and then walked down the road to where every window in the shop had been blown in. Managed to sweep the worst of the glass up by midday, when the owners finally managed to get there.

    I still reckon the heavy rain the week before was a factor in the trees being uprooted. Vividly remember watching some bloke trying to drive a Opel Monza through a f. off big flood. He failed and when we waded out to give him a hand, we found the car was filled to the head rests with water 😆

    igrf
    Member

    I remember it blocked a lot of the trails and we were lifting the bikes over fallen stuff for weeks after, as I remember I’d just got my first alloy Deore XT with that Bionic crank and ‘click shift’ earlier that year which I was grateful for all that lifting, the old bullbar Muddy Fox would have been a ball ache.

    We got woken up by next doors roof getting blown off, all the tiles were banging against our new babies nursery window I had to get up, got blown clean across the yard, trying to shut the garage, but the doors just blew off. Lucky our roof was aligned with the wind so no damage, but shop windows were blown in ,at work the roof felt was lifted and a telegraph pole was down.

    We tried to sail in it, got blown off the water, got a video of the mornings wave pattern somewhere and all the local damage, never seen anything as big before or since, monster storm.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    walked past the aftermath on my way to school

    no school for us 🙂

    Same with the waist deep snow we had in ’86. Although it took 4 days for the JCB to get to our street. Got a rollocking for missing a mock o-level too.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    10 years old and backpacking with my dad and godfather in the lakes, in an unfortunately orientated, horseshoe shaped valley…
    My strongest memory was being put into a foil survival bag at 3am, inside my godfather’s (sturdy) dome tent, whilst my dad was stood out in his pants, battling to hold down his (flimsy) 2 man backpacking tent. At that point it had 1 peg left in the ground. He saved it though.
    The look on my mum’s face when we reappeared was pretty unforgettable too.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    … battling to hold down his (flimsy) 2 man backpacking tent…

    Camped in 2 force 11+ storms, and in both, sussed that the best thing is, don’t bother to get up and stake out the pegs/guylines any better. If you’re in it, it’s not going to go anywhere.

    Had double pole snap on one (olde worlde ridge tent), and 1 peg hole snapped off on the newer one, which was still perfectly usable (and certainly not a mountain tent).

    Now waking up to find a 12ft long bough of a tree on the ground outside the tent door was slightly concerning though!

    slowjo
    Member

    I was on a windsurfing holiday in Turkey in a ‘guaranteed high wind destination’. Becalmed! No wind for 2 whole weeks. I drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of pizza.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Slept through it all, got up for school and then went to make a cup of tea and no leccy, looked out of the window and could see lots of white things in the distance but didn’t realise at the time they were upturned trees, the village was cut off for 3 days which was mostly spent going round with a generator to keep people’s freezers going.
    There was a big barbecue on the village green (no mains gas so no cooking)
    Lived not far from ashford so got the full brunt of the storm but in a bit of a hollow so no damage to the house.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    My now wife lived in Heathfield at the time, was cut off for 7 days.

    Ironically, on 2/11/87 – two weeks later – I started work, after a disgustingly brief stint at Oxford Poly – in the household claims dept of a large insurance company. I did overtime on my first day. And for quite a few days after that!

    avdave2
    Member

    Camped in 2 force 11+ storms, and in both, sussed that the best thing is, don’t bother to get up and stake out the pegs/guylines any better. If you’re in it, it’s not going to go anywhere.

    A good few years ago we were camping when the whole tent collapsed in the night due to extreme winds. At least that’s what my wife tells me, I slept through it and her putting it back up around me.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    I went kayaking on the Thames at Reading on the evening of the storm and remember sitting and thinking that I’d never known the air be so calm. A few hours later the windows in the Uni dorm were repeatedly blowing open.
    I’ve known windier weather since (Jan3 earlier this year in Stirling when the jet-stream touched down) but the ’87 storm was impressive.

    Slept through it got dressed for work, got in the car and then felt puzzled as a large tree was stopping me getting my car out of the road….

    jambalaya
    Member

    @ohnoshesback – well here’s a thread to make us feel a little older !

    I was woken in the middle of the night, certainly looked a bit windy, up at normal time (5:30) walked to station in dark not really paying attention, no trains. Back home got in car, put cassette on (!!!) and tried to drive into London around various fallen trees and upon police road block switched on radio 😳

    I still remember the newspaper front page (Independent ?) showing the fallen oaks of Sevenoaks …

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    MoreCashThanDash – Member
    My now wife lived in Heathfield at the time, was cut off for 7 days.

    I went to Heathfield school. Class of ’88.

    Gale force winds predicted tonight and tomorrow. Its ok though, these kind of storms only happen once every 25 years or so. Oh hang on…

    Reign_Man
    Member

    Anchored off Blackpool in a 400 ton patrol boat, had to sail to IOM for some protection from the weather, got there and had never seen so many ships in the Irish sea all with the same idea, the swell was running faster than we could steam, it was a bit touch and go getting there, the first time in any Ship I was on that we had to wear our life vest, at one point we lost all steering and in seas that big, its a bit worrying. Could’nt even stand up, like being in a washing machine, everyone had to strap themselves to their bunks.

    Premier Icon gonetothehills
    Subscriber

    Just read the story on the BBC site too.

    My childhood years were spent on the south coast of Dorset and got up (as normal) at 10 past 6 to go and do my early morning paper round. I remember mum getting up – having been awake most of the night – and letting the dog out who got blown over trying to cock his leg, poor chap. I cycled to the paper shop and found there were no papers as the trains hadn’t got through, so came home and we drove down to the cove to discover loads of yachts up on the beach with all manner of damage.

    I do feel bloody old now though – I was 13 at the time. Thanks for opportunity to sit in my virtual rocking chair and reminisce 😉

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    I was 19, & had converted my Mums attic into a bedroom. I remember the sound of the tiles sliding down the roof, a loud scraping sound > silence > then thud, as they hit the lawn. I had a ladder I used to pull up through the hatch overnight, to stop the family walking into it. It was when the whole roof lifted a few inches & crashed back down that I literally leapt down through the hatch.

    Went outside to get the cat & the lawn resembled a graveyard with all these crooked tiles sticking out of the lawn, where they had landed. Terrfifying is an understatement.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Camped in 2 force 11+ storms, and in both, sussed that the best thing is, don’t bother to get up and stake out the pegs/guylines any better. If you’re in it, it’s not going to go anywhere.

    Lesson learnt!

    Anchored off Blackpool in a 400 ton patrol boat,

    Sod that!

    You don’t need to go away from home to find a disaster. Even in the UK, sometimes the disaster visits you.

    Squidlord
    Member

    Got the day off school and spent all day playing arcade games on my friend’s new Amiga which we all agreed was the most amazing piece of tech we were ever likely to see.

    And he had a floppy disc of photos of nude ladies. Good times!

    Squidlord
    Member

    Got the day off school and spent all day playing arcade games on my friend’s new Amiga which we all agreed was the most amazing piece of tech we were ever likely to see.

    And he had a floppy disc of photos of nude ladies. Good times!

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