Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Gorden Kaye and the Burns' Day Storm
Yesterday the death was announced of the actor Gorden Kaye, aged 75, star of the tv series 'Allo, 'Allo, while tomorrow sees the 27th anniversary of the Burns' Day storm of 25 January 1990.
The connection between these two events is that Kaye was injured in the storm when a plank of wood from an advertising hoarding crashed through the windscreen of his car near his home at Hounslow, causing him serious head injuries.
Gusts of 87 miles an hour were recorded in London. Many buildings had their roofs torn off, and cars were crushed by fallen trees. Docklands, then a major building site, was particularly badly hit as construction materials were flung about.
Although the winds were not as strong as they had been during the Great Storm of 1987, the death toll of 47 was much higher because the tempest struck during the day when people were out and about, while the Great Storm did its work at night. For more, see London's Disasters: from Boudicca to the Banking Crisis (Reaktion).
*19 January 2017 saw the 100th anniversary of London's Silvertown explosion, which killed 73 people. This article on the blast draws heavily on London's Disasters. https://wcclibraries.wordpress.com/