When the wind blew: Suffolk’s story
Do you remember the night the 1987 hurricane hit Suffolk hard? We awoke to a new landscape. Trees were felled, homes and gardens damaged, buildings were battered, rail lines closed, power lines downed. It was the morning of October 16, 1987, and for the people of Great Britain it brought the realisation that we had just been visited by the worst storm in more than 200 years, with winds gusting up to 115mph. The ferocious gale left 18 dead, brought down 15 million trees and left hundreds of thousands of homes across the country without power. With power out for days and a massive nationwide clean up needed to tackle the aftermath, it would be a long and expensive time before the country recovered from the damage of that single October night. Suffolk saw some of the strongest of these gales, with the wind speed recorded at more than 102mph at Martlesham Health, outside Ipswich. The morning light brought shock and horror at the damage wrought by the power of the wind. Along the coast caravans were turned to matchwood, and from towns and villages across Suffolk – and around the country - came reports of cars crushed by trees, roofs smashed by chimneys, walls toppled, debris blocking roads and causing transport chaos. The county was bruised and battered, as the striking images on these pages, taken by photographers from the East Anglian Daily Times, recall. Thirty years on our sister magazine Let’s Talk looks at the trail of devastation left in its wake. For more nostalgia, great features and interesting interviews, subscribe to Let’s Talk magazine each month.