...... there was a storm - it was a bad storm - I nearly died. That is my version of the storms of '87 that hit South East England. Joe always teases me for saying 'I almost died' but I only just found out that is because the storm only really hit the south east so bypassed Swindon.
I remember the night well, I was eight years old - it amazes me it was 20 years ago!! We had some of our neighbours children staying they were about the same ages as my and Rich. Their parents were away for the night. I awoke to an almighty noise outside my bedroom window which was inches from my head. My bed was covered in debris from the trees, that had blown through the frame of the window. There right in front of my face was the top of a tree, had the tree been taller or our house a little further back that tree would have landed in my head. This however was not the only thing going on in the house, the kids from down the road went screaming in to Mum and Dad's room thinking the window has shattered in their room. Dad went to investigate to find a tree had come through the roof and in to the bedroom. I to this day am so impressed how cool, calm and collected my parents were. If a tree were to fall through my roof right now I do not think I would be calm. They did not panic or begin to worry about how they will fix the roof. We all went downstairs and sat in the middle of the living room - deemed the safest place in the house and waited for the storm to blow over.
We used to have 12 huge pine trees in our back garden after the storm we had 6. The huge pine tree in the front was still standing and to this day is the only one that is. The council came to take down all the existing trees, our next door neighbour refused so her remaining trees still stand.
The neighbours whose children were in our house did not fare as well as us. A tree fell on the house and cut the roof in half down the middle, with the trunk sitting on the front and back walls of the house. The tree fell directly on top of the room of the girl who was sleeping in our house - it is amazing they were at our house that night.
East Anglia was not the worst affected area with the South coast getting the worst of the storm, many buildings damaged and 18 killed. I hope we never see another storm like it.