What the Dickens?
Copperfield film crew have wind machine delivered in stormy weather
THE West was lashed by Storm Callum yesterday, sparking transport delays, power cuts and the risk of flooding.
But one group had either failed to check the forecast - or indeed open the front door - as they had ordered a wind machine.
A film crew shooting a Charles Dickens film on the coast were spotted with the wind machine yesterday morning.
The filmmakers are believed to be shooting scenes for The Personal History of David Copperfield, an upcoming movie written and directed by Armando Iannucci.
Filming on location in Charlestown, Cornwall, the crew decided to bring a wind machine to fake stormy conditions.
But the wind machine could be seen spinning of its own accord as strong winds from Storm Callum battered the area.
Tom Last, a photographer for Cornwall Live, said: “The weather is pretty full on by Charlestown standards.
“The wind machine is from the set of David Copperfield and is itself being turned by the wind!
“I was getting absolutely hammered by wind and rain and the camera was getting flooded pretty quickly.”
A danger to life warning was issued by the Met Office as Storm Callum swept in from the Atlantic.
One of the main roads between North Devon and West Somerset was closed by police after a caravan overturned in high winds.
The A39 between Lynmouth in North Devon and Porlock was impassable after the accident.
Meanwhile, a number of flights were diverted away from Bristol Airport due to the storm and restrictions were put in place on the Severn crossings.
Highways officials urged motorists to take care.
Christian Morgan, Network Operations Manager in Highways England’s South West region, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.”
The highest winds of the morning were 77mph recorded at 7am at Capel Curig in Gwynedd, north Wales, with 76mph gusts in the Scilly Isles and 64mph at RNAS Culdrose, in Cornwall.
Western Power Distribution said more than 950 homes had been left without electricity in south-west England and nearly 100 were without power in south Wales.
Insurer NFU Mutual, which insures over 70 per cent of UK farms and thousands of rural homes and businesses, said it was on standby to launch its emergency claims plan should serious floods occur.
“When extreme weather strikes our first priority is to get immediate help to people whose families and animals have been put at risk,” said Rebecca Davidson, NFU Mutual rural insurance specialist.
High winds are forecast again for today, although the rain may relent for a period in the afternoon.
It will remain warm, with the possibility of temperatures above 20C.
Sunday will be calmer and cooler, according to forecasters.
The harbour in Charlestown which is being prepared for filming - and where a wind machine, below, was delivered - half way through Storm Callum