28 YEARS since that storm...

dancrane

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...unbelievable. Still seems like it was sometime in the last fifteen, to me.

Amazing to think, that was only eight years after the Fastnet disaster. That seems much longer ago to me.

Any over-riding memories worth bringing up, here?

Was anybody actually on that ferry?

heng_beached.jpg
 

David2452

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Good Lord, I was a technical publisher with a major commercial marine publishing house at the time, I remember driving into Farringdon from Bow and even in such a sheltered location there were trees and large debris everywhere, I was the only one on my title that turned up that day.
 

colvic987

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...unbelievable. Still seems like it was sometime in the last fifteen, to me.

Amazing to think, that was only eight years after the Fastnet disaster. That seems much longer ago to me.

Any over-riding memories worth bringing up, here?

Was anybody actually on that ferry?

heng_beached.jpg


I remember being woken up at 3 am by the noise of the wind blowing through the trees, and trouble walking across the parade ground at the barracks I was at in Essex, to move my car away from the tree covered car park. we then got sent with our vehicles and generators to farms to power up the milking machines and nursing homes to provide power for the next few days.
 
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VicS

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...unbelievable. Still seems like it was sometime in the last fifteen, to me.

Amazing to think, that was only eight years after the Fastnet disaster. That seems much longer ago to me.

Any over-riding memories worth bringing up, here?

Was anybody actually on that ferry?

Driving under fallen trees to get to work!

No electricity for a week!

From Kent Online

The Hengist had been forced to put to sea on the night of October 15/16 when its lines kept breaking from its mooring at Folkestone Harbour, but the sea was so rough the waves almost capsized it.

Falling machinery damaged the alternator, causing it to lose all electrical power and the Hengist then drifted helplessly before being driven ashore below The Warren.

The vessel was badly damaged and holed after being impaled on part of the concrete sea defences.

The huge ferry remained beached for nearly a week and was not fully repaired until January the following year.

The Hengist continued its cross-Channel career until Sealink Stena, as the company had become, closed its Folkestone-Boulogne route in 1991, and a year later the vessel was sold to Greece.

Now named the Agios Georgios, the Hengist was rebuilt in 2009 and is ending its days plying the tourist trade in the calmer, bluer waters of the Aegean Sea.​
 
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Capt Popeye

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Humm, yes that 87 storm, woke up to an eerie stillness in the air garden, and lots lots more light everywhere, birds unusually quiet, and I could see neighbour's Homes and gardens everywhere I looked, bloody hell what has happened I thought. Went outside and my car had disappeared underneath a Beech tree, an unbelievable sight everywhere, Tall full grown Beech trees now flat to ground and displaying their root balls to the sky.
Quite eerie and frightening experience.
 

Seajet

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Dan,

I thought the ferry was full of passengers who had to stay on for quite a few hours until things coud be sorted out ? Maybe thinking of another vessel.

In my case I set from Horsham off for work at Dunsfold Aerodrome as usual - I had slept through it, but my parents had retreated to the living room in alarm leaving me to it !

Within a few miles it was clear I had underestimated things, and the A281 to Guildford was impassable.

Then all thought of work disappeared and I was frantic to check my boat; at this time very luckily I had sold my A22 and she was safe at sunseekers in Poole - but my Carter 30 was on a mooring at Mill Rythe with Hayling Yacht Co.

The drive to the coast was interesting, at the Slindon forest the road disappeared into a mass of fallen trees, so I casted around the backroads trying to find a way through; I soon had a little convoy following who seemed under the false impression I knew a clear way !

I finally got to Hayling Island hours later; my boat had been sheltered by the high earth banks, she was safe with just the main cover part off and the exposed bulb of the deck floodlight had been sheared in half - not shattered - by the wind...

The boatyard was carnage, many of the boats ashore had blown over with a domino effect, hulls were shattered, keels torn off and rigs lay around.

I went back to Langstone SC at the mainland end of the Hayling road bridge, where as usual in emergencies people had arrived unbidden.

11 boats had blown ashore from the Chichester side moorings; my father's Centaur had stayed put on her new uprated mooring, but ha dbeen badly damaged by other boats going past.

The boats ashore were mostly in a bad way, some twin keelers had keels torn off when they hit the shore.

There seemed a completely different law of physics, lots of things sheared off by the wind rather than blown over.

We set to clearing the fallen trees on the old smuggler's lane to the shore, Pook Lane - it took several days and of course one couldn't get a mobile crane for any price, but within a few days the boats were recovered; about 60 % never to sail again.

The boats on the Langstone side had fared worse as they had concrete to leeward; a much loved Mirage 28 had been driven right under the road bridge with her rig in pieces - I helped the owner get her out on what was clear would be her last trip, there were obvious cracks through the hull, we got the engine going, cleared the rig and just managed to beach her, vibrating crazily as the propshaft was way out of alignment.

One little point; after this, small grp repair companies sprang up everywhere overnight, some better than others.

There were plenty of tales later of twin keels put back at wrong angles; so a good question to ask if buying a pre-1987 boat is, ' where was she in October '87 and what happened ? '
 
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RichardS

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Several ridge tiles and come of my house, and most others, and had crashed down around my car which was parked alongside the house. Amazingly every one managed to miss the car. If one had hit it would have made a huge dent!

Richard
 

VicS

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Dan,

I seem to remember the ferry was full of passengers who had to stay on for quite a few hours until things coud be sorted out ?

No only the crew I beleive who were rescued by breeches buoy
 
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Robin

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i was on a business trip to the USA and Canada and a customer in Toronto greeted me with 'shame about the hurricane damage to England yesterday'. my then boat was on an exposed swinging mooring in Poole so my concentration wandered to insurance but i need not have worried as none of our then YC moorings failed ( where I was one of the mooring masters at the time, so we got something right)When I got on board a week later there was still a fairy liquid bottle upright on the cabin table.
 

FWB

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I was in Cairo. In a taxi with some of the crew, the driver turned around..as Cairo taxi drivers do when they talk to you..and said that the weather in England was very bad. To which we all agreed that compared to the sun and heat in Cairo it certainly was. " No no very bad" he said. We just agreed. It was only when we got to the airport the next day at briefing that we realised what had taken place :)
 

dleroc

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I was staying in Hendon overnight. I could tell it was a bit breezy but I slept ok. I was supposed to be conducting a training course for the local council so was quite pleased when I saw that most of the roofing felt had been torn off and the course might be called off. It wasn't! I was told to get on with it and move from one side of the room to the other if it rained!
The hurricane in early 1991 was much worse. I was conducting a course in Landarcy refinery in Swansea and the whole roof came off!
 

JumbleDuck

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Amazing to think, that was only eight years after the Fastnet disaster. That seems much longer ago to me.

Despite YM managing to mention it at least once in ever single issue. Sometime I think that the number of yacht types which survived That Bloody Race exceeds even the number of Irishmen whose grandfathers were in the General Post Office for the Easter Rising.

Back to the 1987 storm ... I slept through it. I left my digs in Finchley in the morning and hobbled off to West Finchley tube station as normal, mildly surprised that I hadn't noticed the park on my left before. It was only that evening, when I returned home, that I realised that the "park" had actually been the end of Wentworth Rd, completely cobered with bits blown off trees.

No trains at West Finchley so I went on to Golders Green on foot and got to Leicester Square from there. Not bad, since I was on crutches at the time.

I reckon I slept through it because I'm Scottish and it really wasn't anything special by Scottish standards. Hot sunshine wakes us up, not storms.
 

lw395

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I slept through it in Portsmouth.
First I knew about it was riding my bike to work, spotting caravans upside down by the Eastern Rd.
I got to work, riding down a few footpaths to dodge fallen trees etc.
My mate's car had ridge tiles embedded in the bonnet.
 

VicMallows

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My boat was only 2 years old at the time and in Emsworth Yacht Harbour. I remember that morning driving the 4 miles there from home dodging the fallen trees. The boatyard was in tatters but they had already strung cables all over the place to restrain the pontoons. Amazingly my new boat was unscathed, although many others suffered some damage. It was weeks before you could get in or out of the marina.

About a dozen boats washed ashore against the marina wall and on the Emsworth foreshore. Most had dragged their concrete sinkers with them

I then walked Thorney Island round as far as Pilsey. Numerous boats (probably from the Hayling moorings) were washed up on the southern shore. It seemed these ones had broken their mooring strops. The majority (especially the bilge keelers) seemed to have suffered little structural damage ..... BUT even at 1000hrs the thieves had already been out and ransacked many of them.

Certainly a day I will not forget.
 

Kurrawong_Kid

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I was booked into a course at Regents College and had heard of the " hurricane" before the train left B'ham New St. No sign of any trouble until the first tree I saw down: that was near Watford Jct. After Willesden you could see a lot of damage. Fortunately the overhead lines were still up and we were only a couple of minutes late at Euston. Vicious, but confined to the South and South East.
 

Tam Lin

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I was living in Burnham at the time. Woke up to howling about three a.m. A bit worried as we were moving house that day! Roof tiles were coming down, some landing edgewise and burying themselves inches deep. No electricity so the banks couldn't transfer the money. Fortunately the house we were moving into was empty and the estate agent was the father of one of our daughter's friends and he let us have the key anyway.
Managed to pick up our hire van and with a friend's help moved in by about 6 p.m. Just as the electricity came back on. Driving was fun dodging fallen walls, trees, branches etc. I will never forget it!
 

simonfraser

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Yep, got up 3am to close side gate as it was banging around.
Noticed a bunch of roof tiles lying around it in the morning :(
 

Binman

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Around 3am my wife woke me up, straight away I sensed all was not well, opened the front door to look, saw my roof tiles sticking up in the lawn, my wife not thinking dashed onto the lawn to look back at our roof, with tiles still getting dislodged, silly mare.stayed up the rest of the night, early next morning made my way to Sevenoaks to Marley's to buy replacement tiles. What a queue there was, like a football crowd. Lost all my ridge and twenty five tiles, there was carnage the closer I got to Sevenoaks, hired a tower before they were like gold dust, rebuilt my roof within two days. Mostly cars on the estate got away with no damage,as we have quite long front gardens, but in our coldasac of ten houses, 3 chimneys down, one roof bare on one side and 2 gable windows blown out, didn't own a boat then. Footnote, I was a qualified builder and site manager, now retired.
 
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johnalison

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Apart from seeing a mature conifer bent over at right angles at 4am and failing to get to one place of work because of fallen trees, I mainly remember my new Sadler 29 being on hard standing next to the Clark & Carter office at Levington and losing a piece of gelcoat the size of my fingernail when a gutter fell off the office roof.
 
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