Gazebos go and steam engine sticks
The effects of Hurricane Bertha ravaged a country fair, demolishing gazebos and leaving a powerful steam engine stuck on sodden ground.
Savage wind and rain crashed on the Willesborough Windmill annual country craft and heritage fair on Sunday morning.
Five gazebos were wrecked by the gale force gusts.
John White, of event organisers the Friends of Willesborough Windmill (FWW), said: “The wind lifted the sheeting of the gazebos even though they were nailed down. Five were wrecked.”
The century-old Burrell engine, brought to the event for display, couldn’t climb a slope because the grass was so wet. Volunteers unhooked its trailer so it could gradually reverse back down. Mesh was also placed under the wheels to give them more grip.
Mr White said: “It was slipping on the grass, like a car on snow. It couldn’t move forward at all. The driver was in that situation for a quarter of an hour.”
The weather was so severe that stallholders packed up before the event was halfway finished.
Mr White’s wife Pat, also from FWW, said: “This was an event ruined because of Hurricane Bertha.
“The weather was totally extreme. The rain was coming down horizontally.
“We’ve now offered stallholders free pitches for next year’s event.
“There is nothing you can do about the weather.”
Hurricane Bertha had hit the Caribbean on Monday last week before dissipating over the Atlantic.
But its stormy remnants reached Britain on Sunday morning, causing chaos in several parts of the country.
Kent got its share with flooding in places such as Sittingbourne.
The engine that got into trouble at Willesborough was a steam traction engine, the type used for tasks such as road rolling, harvesting and threshing.
A steam engine gets stuck in the mud while the gazebos need securing