Remember 1990 storm that smashed Isle of Wight ferry into sea wall at Gunwharf? | Rick Jackson

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Two storms in one week brings back memories of 1987 and then 1990 when we were battered by hurricane force winds.

Storm Dudley yesterday and tomorrow Storm Eunice could bring gusts up to 100mph on exposed headlands.

In 1987 Michael Fish told us not to worry, a hurricane wasn’t on its way, and he was right, it wasn’t a hurricane, but gusts of more than 120mph were enough to cause devastation and death.

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I woke unaware of what had happened the night before and it was only on my walk to school I noticed hedges and trees had been blown over.

The devastation in Ladies Mile on Southsea Common after the 1987 Great Storm, often referred to as a hurricane.The devastation in Ladies Mile on Southsea Common after the 1987 Great Storm, often referred to as a hurricane.
The devastation in Ladies Mile on Southsea Common after the 1987 Great Storm, often referred to as a hurricane.

I’m sure we all remember the footage of the cross-Channel ferry blown on to the beach near Folkestone while on the Isle of Wight, Shanklin Pier fell into the sea.

Forward three years and another big storm.

This time it struck during the day. I was 17 and I first became aware of the weather on my bus ride to work.

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I was on the first bus out of Ryde and sat upstairs. The double decker bus swerved and swayed its way to Newport, battered by the wind.

The winds reached Hurricane Force 12 and bus services were being cancelled left, right and centre.

The 9am car ferry from Fishbourne was unable to enter Portsmouth Harbour because of the high winds and spent hours being buffeted and battered by huge waves off Southsea.

Eventually she was allowed into the harbour at 3pm but was caught by a huge gust of wind as she manoeuvred into the Gunwharf Road terminal.

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She struck the sea wall on what was HMS Vernon, now Gunwharf Quays.

The force of the contact caused her hull to be breached, luckily above the waterline.

Portsmouth Harbour received an unusual visitor that day too – the Lymington car ferry!

Too rough to berth at Yarmouth and permission to dock at Cowes refused, she scuttled her way to Portsmouth. Imagine the awful conditions on those crossings. One lasted more than nine hours. I wonder how many teacups were left?

I hope tomorrow’s storm passes without incident for us all.


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It’s so nice having all lanes open again on the M27. The first section of the ‘smart’ motorway to see all four lanes operating is between junction 9 at Park Gate and junction 11 at Fareham.

What I was surprised about though was the poor quality of the surface, including the old hard shoulder. This new section of Tarmac looked flat but certainly wasn’t. I could feel my ‘moobs’ jiggling up and down as I reached 60mph!

The cracks and large joints in the areas not recovered will no doubt get worse. The roundabout at junction 9 is horrendous. Why can’t we build smooth roads in the UK? Why can’t our roads be more like German and French motorways, which are like carpets?


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I love Wednesdays on my breakfast show because we celebrate Worst Joke Wednesday.

I didn’t want to be accused of sexism with this joke, but I couldn’t help it as it is more fact than fiction!

Here goes...‘I was trying to get my wife’s attention. Nothing was working, so I decided to lie on the sofa and look all peaceful and relaxed. That worked a treat.’

It’s so true! I’ve lost count how many times I’ve just sat down and then being asked to do something or get the kids their pudding, or it’s bath time. It’s like it’s an automatic trigger.

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If the roles were reversed, I get a look and ‘you are joking, right?’

But as she always tells me: ‘Happy wife, happy life’.​​​

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron.

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