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The Great Sheffield Gale, 1962

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When I first say this third picture


it really took me back a bit as it is the only picture I have seen which shows our house(or at least part of it)during the immediate aftermath of the gale.

The photo is taken from the back garden of one of those 2 completely destroyed houses in the previous post picture and looks out across Algar Place and up to Northern avenue.

The foreground shows an isolated patch of Arbourthorne Playing Fields that ran between the two Algars, - it was not good grass and was rocky and covered in mining slag and loose opencast shale like coal. Notice the debris scattered across it, - most of these are pieces of prefab, particularly pieces of heavy roofing material which has blown off.

The closest row of prefabs are on Algar Place, the one extreme left of picture, with just 2 windows showing, is our house, 13 Algar Place. Look at the direction that roofing debris is blowing, - straight towards our house!!! Now look at that very flimsly back garden fence of ours, - wooden strips held together with chicken wire. A large piece of roof from a house on Algar Drive hit our fence and amazingly the fence, although it collapsed, held the roof back and prevented it from coming smashing straight into our house. Had it done so, it would have hit the back bedroom, and given the time it happened, I would have been in bed.

Next door to us and very prominent is Mr Twigg's house, 11 Algar Place, easily identified because Mr Twigg was an invalid and had a little blue Invacar to get around, as such he had the only prefab on the estate with a garage. Our side of the street, the odd numbers, being low down, survived very well, - but look at the houses facing us on the other side of the road and up the hill, roofs missing, rooms missing, bits of debris and furniture everywhere, this is exactly the scene that greeted our eyes as we looked out of our window and daylight dawned on that eventful day, - now almost 53 years ago, - but exactly as I remember it.

The prefabs on Northern Avenue are very extensively damaged and there are many pictures of them in both The Star archive (most recently in The Retro) and the BBC panorama special. They all show the damage from Northern Avenue looking down to the Algars, - how different to see the view then from the Algars up to Northern Avenue.

The gap in the brick built houses on Northern Avenue is its junction with Craddock Road.

This will probably be another picture I will have to buy a copy of.

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Thanks for printing the Star Special which brought back many memories. I remember my dad taking me to King Ted's in the car the next morning (I usually caught a 102 into town, then a 54, 55 or 60 up to Broomhill) before going on to his work at Woodhouse Grammar School. As a teacher, he was determined that I was not going to miss a day's school!

I did not know that the MP George Brown had visited the city in the wake of the hurricane. I hope for his sake that there was a pub left standing.

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Anniversary; bumping old posts.

A reminder, if any were needed, of just how wonderful this site has been in the past, before one too many upgrades. Sad.

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