On the morning of 16th October 1987 Hollingbourne residents woke up to a scene of partial devastation following hurricane force winds that hit the county during the night. The road in the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area was covered with the shattered remains of Kent peg tiles that had been blown off the roofs of the cottages and houses and there was no electricity. The night before Mr Michael Fish, the BBC weather forecaster had famously stated that there would be no hurricane overnight and he was wrong!
The village was also cut off from the A20 by the fact that many of the trees that lined the “walk” from Cotuam’s Hall to the Hollingbourne Corner roundabout by the Great Danes Hotel had blown down or had lost their branches and these had to be cleared before it was possible to leave the village. The remaining trees in the “walk” which had provided a great entrance to the village were cleared to build the M20 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link which passes under the road in a cut and cover tunnel.
It took a fortnight to restore power to Hollingbourne and during this time many of the houses in the upper village and on the Pilgrim’s Way had no running water as there was no power supply to the water pumping station. They had to collect their water in containers from houses in the lower village.
During the period immediately after the storm there was a great community spirit and the Windmill PH provided free hot soup to local residents who relied on electricity for cooking.
If you have any memories f the hurricane which you would be happy to share on this website or any pictures please contact the webmaster on Tel 880543. As 1987 was prior to the introduction of digital cameras, mobile phones, and the internet, any images provided will be scanned before posting.
Pictured below is Mr Fish making his famous broadcast 30 years ago and an uprooted Kent tree following the hurricane.