NOSTALGIA: Hurricane 1987 hits the seafront

Eastbourne's seafront was another victim of the hurricane with boats tossed like corks on to the promenade and wooden chalets demolished.

Saturday, 28th October 2017, 7:13 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 8:19 pm
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And tons of the new shingle brought into Seaford to minimise storm damage was washed away in the tempest.

All along Eastbourne’s front the ravages of the storm were felt by householders and hoteliers alike.

Owners of homes in Royal parade found their glass and metal windbreakers of little effect against the 100 mile an hour winds lashing the coast – they ended up wrapped round their front doors.

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And one of Eastbourne’s most popular hotels, The Queens, was closed for a month while repairs were carried out.

The hotel bore the brunt of the savage gale force winds on Friday.

At the height of the gale, guests had to be evacuated from the hotel because the building was made uninhabitable by flood water and falling masonry.

Two chimney stacks weighing around 20 tons fell through the roof ruining the rooms below.

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Scaffolding was put up to make the building safe and for a time the road outside was sectioned off from motorists and pedestrians.

Rotary conference delegates arriving in the town found themselves redirected to nearby hotels.

At the Butterfly Centre – since closed – further along the seafront a glass apex on the roof was smashed in the storm resulting in the death of 200 exotic butterflies.

Survivors tucked themselves away from below foliage and stones for protection against the unaccustomed cold climate.

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Scaffolding from what was then the Leisure Pool was blown across the roundabout and among the debris was a sailing boat.

Eastbourne Sailing Club also suffered during the storm with boats exchanging their coastal moorings for the tarmac surface of the promenade.

Beach chalets toppled over like card houses and large numbers of pebbles and stones littered the main seafront road, extending the beach some way up Royal parade.

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Barbara Goodall at the Eastbourne Butterfly Centre in 1987 SUS-171024-090900001
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Barbara Goodall at the Eastbourne Butterfly Centre in 1987 SUS-171024-090900001