THIS WEEK IN 1980: Kitchen sink life for storm victims

Leonard Harris and his wife Vera prepare to move on to a new council residence, after they had been forced to live and sleep in their kitchen after the gable end of their house was destroyed by the weather (6246-1)
Leonard Harris and his wife Vera prepare to move on to a new council residence, after they had been forced to live and sleep in their kitchen after the gable end of their house was destroyed by the weather (6246-1)
Arch Deacon with his petiton against mixed-sex wards

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Proposals to end mixed-sex wards

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A Portsmouth couple were forced to live and sleep in their tiny kitchen for an entire month because December storms, which tore the gable end and part of the roof off their home, had left the rest of the house uninhabitable.

However, after a chilly month, Leonard Harris, 61, and his wife Vera, 59, neared the end of their ordeal – they were offered a suitable council flat and could move in within a week.

Mr Harris said: ‘I cannot wait to sleep in a proper bed again... it is a great relief to know we are leaving soon.’

It was 4am on December 15 when the Harrises were woken by a tremendous crash which shook their house.

‘At first we thought the front of the whole house had gone,’ said Mr Harris.