"Nothing like the Great Storm of '87 though Gordon." Mum shook her head and sighed. "Can that really be 29 years ago today? By jingo Gordon, that did blow."
"The severity of it hadn't been forecast on the radio and television. More in the way of rain than wind, I think they had said. I do remember tapping my trusty barometer that night before going to bed though - and was horrified to see it had gone back past 'Stormy' and up into 'Very Dry'! The storm hit the south coast in the early hours of the morning and did the most dreadful damage. 120mph gusts were recorded Gordon! Dad and I woke at 4 am as the wind hit the side of our house. It roared - a loud, fearsome bark of a roar - and I jumped out of bed, thinking a bomb had gone off at the very least - to see our dustbin lifted 30 foot in the air! Lots of people lost whole chicken houses - they simply took off over neighbouring fences - with the chickens still in them.
"Huge trees laid across every road, path and garden; cars were crushed; houses, fences and walls flattened; rivers flooded. And we had no electricity for two weeks. It was estimated that about 15 million trees in England fell during the Great Storm.
"We were very lucky that we were all safe - in fact at that time in the morning, it is probably the quietest, and who knows - if the weather forecaster had forewarned us of a violent storm, more people could have been outside battening down the hatches instead of being tucked up in bed. And we had enough wood for the fires to last us two years! Even to this day when the Barometer drops very low - I say to Dad - don't worry - not as low the hurricane!"
By Jingo! Gordon xxx