How the storm was reported in Bexley

PUBLISHED: 16:14 15 October 2012

St Paulinus churchyard in Crayford

St Paulinus churchyard in Crayford


It was the worst recorded storm to hit the country since 1703 when it swept across the south of England in October 1987.

Hall Place and Gardens in the aftermathHall Place and Gardens in the aftermath

None of the casualties were in Bexley but, as the Bexleyheath and Welling Times (as it was then) reported, a night of destruction gripped the borough.

The front page told readers about a teenager in Bexleyheath who had an amazing escape when a tree crashed into his room.

Kelly Ford, 17, of Sibley Close, had to be pulled free by his father.

He said: “It was about 4am when the storm was at its worst.

“I was lying on my back and I heard a loud snapping sound which woke me. Then I saw all these bricks coming down from the ceiling.”

The Times also carried a story on the front page about Joyden’s Wood being destroyed hours before it was due to be opened by the then sports minister, Colin Moynihan.

The Times included a two-page spread filled with tales of disaster and destruction from all over the borough.

This included the extra burdens on the fire service (it received more than 100 emergency calls), Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup (20 people were treated for minor injuries) and the roads (an articulated lorry was blown over on the A2 between Bexley and Dartford).

Perhaps the saddest story was the felling of hundreds of trees by the mighty gusts – among them one of the borough’s oldest trees, an 185-year-old large oak.

Bexley Council got heavily involved in the replanting of trees and millions had been uprooted across the country.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bexley Times