Gallery: iwitness reporters share their photos and memories from October 1987

PHOTOGRAPHIC records of uprooted tress, battered houses and traumatised streets have been shared online this week in the lead up to the 25th anniversary of the 1987 storm.

Our iwitness reporters have been responding to our appeal for photos taken in the aftermath of the storm, sharing their images and their memories from that time.

Paul Nichols, of Lowestoft, said: “These were all taken at about 9-11am that morning. I usually like to think I’m a storm chaser and don’t like to miss anything but I managed to sleep through the whole thing.

“My wife, who was my girlfriend then, had to walk home from the birdseye after her night shift at 6am because her car was written off on the car park down to the sand which blustered the cars that hard it put the back window in and ruined the car with salt water and stones.”

Janice Poulson surveyed the damage in the Dobbs Lane area of Kesgrave straight after what was then billed as a hurricane. She said: “Another picture showing the devastation of the 1987 hurricane. These trees were just at the top of Dobbs Lane crossroads. These trees were just leaning ready to fall.”

As repairs got underway, Charles Whitfield-King recorded the builders at work and referring to a photo of men repairing a gable end on a storm-hit house, he said: “This house in Bramford Road is located at the entrance to Sproughton Road, and the gable end of the house took the brunt of the hurricane, which came through like a funnel up Sproughton Road.

“The picture shows the damage being repaired.

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“One of the other strange things that happened as a cause of the hurricane, was the salt from the English Channel was whipped up and blew across Suffolk, this changed dramatically the late green foliage to a burnt brown within a day on all the trees (which were still standing ) so there were no autumn colours that year.”

Richard Turner, of Boxted, shared his memories via the user-led iwitness site and said: “During the night of the storm we were woken by the noise of glass being blown out of our conservatory.

“I jumped out of bed (naked) and grabbed a dressing gown and ran out into the garden. Luckily it was safety glass so had not broken. I picked up a large piece of glass but because of the strength of the wind I could not move I had to keep turning in different directions to try and put the glass back.

“The wind also ripped open the dressing gown to expose everything, good job it was in my back garden! Eventually I got the glass back in position. I shall never forget that night.”

Log on to to share your photos, memories or any video or audio recordings you have from the time. Next week we will be running a series of features to mark the 25th anniversary of the storm both online and in The Ipswich Star, see Monday’s paper for more details.

Click here for more stories about the 1987 storm


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