NOSTALGIA: More images of the Great Storm of 1987

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548856
Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548856

Our memorable photographs of the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987 in last week’s Looking Back proved popular among readers.

Here are some more from our archives on the devastation left in the aftermath of the high winds that battered the town in the early hours of October 16 1987.

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548854

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548854

Gale force winds – at times topping 100 miles an hour – tore through Eastbourne and further afield leaving £10 million pounds worth of damage behind.

It was the worst storm to hit the area in 300 years.

It began at 1.45am on October 16 and ended at dawn.

East Sussex Fire Brigade received a total of 882 calls.

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549059

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549059

Twenty eight of those calls came from people trapped inside buildings and firefighters rescued a total of 16 trapped people.

Eight horses were rescued from a stable that collapsed at Polegate.

A total of 24 people were released from lifts.

East Sussex ambulancemen and women received 197 calls, 70 per cent of which were directly related to the storm.

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549046

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549046

One included a call to assist with the transfer of six patients from a ward in St Mary’s Hospital, which was in Old Town.

Sussex Police received 2,773 calls in connection with the storm.

Between Monday October 19 and Friday October 23, up to 100 schools throughout East Sussex were closed or partially closed as a direct result of storm damage.

In Wealden, 60 families had to be evacuated from their homes and 20 families left temporarily homeless.

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548873

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003548873

In Eastbourne 10 families had to be rehoused.

Some 80 per cent of council houses were also damaged in Eastbourne.

At the time SEGAS, as the gas utility company was known, said no more than a dozen homes were left without gas supplies for any length of time by the storm.

The water board said no more than 200 homes were left without water and no reservoirs were adversely affected.

Diesel generators were brought in for emergency use.

Seeboard, the electricity company, said 3,850 homes were left without electricity.

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549085

Great Storm, Eastbourne MAYOAK0003549085

British Telecom, as it was, reported that mobile generators kept the 28 telephone exchanges in the south in operation but there were still 8,000 lines needing repairs compared to the normal workload of 500.

Some 2,000 trees were lost from the streets of Eastbourne and hundreds more in parks and country districts.

With so many trees lost and in the wake of the devastation caused by the hurricane, Eastbourne council set up an appeal to finance the cost of a tree replacement scheme.

Residents were asked to donate £30 a head to buy a new tree after the council launched the fund with a sum of £15,000 – enough to buy 1,000 trees to begin replanting in the town’s streets.

One of the first areas to benefit from the Eastbourne For Trees Appeal was in The Avenue where a line of beautiful cherry trees was destroyed.

Photo of storm damage 1987 by Lorraine West SUS-171016-095509001

Photo of storm damage 1987 by Lorraine West SUS-171016-095509001