Gales and floods hit southern England

A A A

Gale force winds and driving rain caused havoc in the south of England yesterday, one of the windiest June days on record.

Gale force winds and driving rain caused havoc in the south of England yesterday, one of the windiest June days on record.

Part of the derelict West Pier at Brighton was swept into the sea by the storms, the hopes of tennis fans at Wimbledon were dashed, with not a ball being hit in anger all day, and early arrivals at the Glastonbury Festival were soaked.

Gusts of wind reached 50 to 60mph; the weather station at Heathrow airport recorded winds of 45mph, just below the local June record of 50mph.

"It is one of the exceptional [weather] events and it could be the windiest June day since the day before D-Day in 1944," a Meteorological Office spokesman said.

Weather warnings were in place as landslips, fallen trees and severe flooding swept the region, with the bad weather moving northwards. Heavy downpours caused trouble in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, while flooding in Dorset and Cornwall led to road closures.

People were temporarily evacuated from their homes after a landslip in Porthtowan, Cornwall, on Monday night, and cross-Channel ferry services were halted. Windy and wet conditions are expected to continue today, particularly in eastern England and Scotland, with some rough weather also expected in the South-east.

The further damage to Brighton's pier after previous collapses and fires was bad news for conservationists. Rachel Clark, of the West Pier Trust, said: "There is a really terrible storm here and the concert hall - the building closest to the shore which partially collapsed 18 months ago - has completely collapsed into the sea. It was always vulnerable but what we never expected was that we would have such a severe storm at the height of summer so we have been caught off guard."

The damage comes just months after the Heritage Lottery Fund pulled the plug on £14m in funding to help restore the 135-year-old landmark when costs escalated after two fires last year. English Heritage has set a target of September this year to have in place fresh proposals and a new funding package for the pier.

Ms Clark said: "The collapse is sad, but I don't think it will have any effect on any rescue package that English Heritage comes up with."

At Wimbledon, it was the fourth complete washout of a day in the past 10 years. Rain also badly hampered propceedings on Monday and Tuesday, with play being abandoned in the early evening. The delays have left a backlog of 109 singles matches.

At the Glastonbury Festival, which officially opens tomorrow, arrivals on the 900-acre site at Pilton, Somerset, were slower than normal when the gates opened yesterday. Although better weather is forecast for the weekend, the question is whether 112,000 festival-goers, combined with thousands more traders, security personnel and other staff, will churn up the mud before it has time to dry out. "With thousands of people going, it's going to be quite muddy," a Met Office spokesman said. "It has been wet and windy, with more rain predicted for Friday, so the ground will be wet. Saturday will probably be warmer, at 21 to 24C when the sun comes out. But on Sunday there's a chance of showers."

This year's line-up includes Oasis, Paul McCartney, James Brown and the Black Eyed Peas. Morrissey appears on Sunday, despite once vowing never to return, and English National Opera will introduce a Wagnerian element with a performance of "The Ride of the Valkyrie".

Oxfam, Greenpeace and Wateraid will again benefit from the proceeds and there is an even stronger emphasis on the environment than normal. A team of volunteers called the Glastonbury Green Police will challenge anti-social behaviour and encourage recycling.

Avon and Somerset Police are joining in by ditching many of their four-wheel drive vehicles in favour of mountain bikes to patrol the site. They will also deploy automatic number plate recognition cameras, which scan car number plates and tell police within seconds whether the owner has criminal links,part of a policing operation that has radically cut the once-common risks of being mugged or having your tent stolen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Negotiator - OTE £24,000

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An enthusiastic individual is r...

Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - West Midlands - OTE £35,000

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - Yorkshire & Humber - OTE £35,000

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: Embedded Linux Engineer - C / C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A well funded smart home compan...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?