When Ar­ran took a Box­ing Day bat­ter­ing

The Arran Banner - - Nostalgia - Hugh Boag edi­[email protected]­ran­ban­ner.co.uk

Twenty years ago this week Ar­ran was badly hit by a Box­ing Day hur­ri­cane which caused wide­spread dev­as­ta­tion across the is­land.

Winds of 105 miles an hour (170km) hit the is­land, and much of the west of Scot­land, in one of the worst storms seen in many years. Any­thing which was not se­curely bat­tened down took off and roofers had a busy time in the fol­low­ing days re­pair­ing scores of houses where slates and flash­ings had been lost.

By around 8pm on Box­ing Day the lights were out all over Ar­ran after power ca­bles were brought down and some of the is­land was with­out power for sev­eral days and trees blocked roads around the is­land.

Brod­ick Cas­tle and Coun­try Park was par­tic­u­larly badly hit by the storm, los­ing 296 trees in the gar­den and more than 1,000 in the coun­try park. Many rare shrubs and plants were de­stroyed in the gar­den and the cas­tle suf­fered some struc­tural dam­age. Clear­ance work by con­trac­tors, gar­den­ing staff and many vol­un­teers con­tin­ued for many months.

Here is a re­minder of just some of the dev­as­ta­tion that the hur­ri­cane brought.

Clock­wise from top: Merk­land along­side the cas­tle wall with the wind still howl­ing.01_B52s­torm06; A cupola from the Lochranza dis­tillery lies man­gled in a field some 100 yards from the build­ing. 01_B52s­torm08; The Ford Fi­esta which saved the Auchran­nie Ho­tel. Had it not made the sac­ri­fice the tree would have gone through the ho­tel roof. 01_B52s­torm01; The re­mains of a sawn off tree rest­ing on the smashed fence. 01_B52s­torm07.

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