Residents remember the Great Storm 25 years on

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Tonight on October 15 1987, West Sussex residents suffered the worst storm to hit England in almost 300 years.

18 lives were lost, millions of trees torn from their roots, power cables toppled, cars crushed and houses wrecked.

Readers have contacted us with their extraordinary tales of survival on the night of the Great Storm.

Joyce Johnson worked the nightshift at St Leonards Park retirement home in Horsham.

She recounts: “many residents were waking disturbed and nervous by the hail which was crashing onto the glass dome that was at the centre of the building”

Christina Baxter who was surprised to see a picture of herself standing by a crushed car in last week’s County Times, contacted the paper to explain the circumstances.

“At the time I worked at the Cisswood House Hotel at Lower Beeding and got up to make my way to work for the breakfast shift. However, the bottom of the Brighton Road was blocked by a fallen tree and so I never made it any further”

Mike Russell, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Adult Learning Manager has also been talking to the paper.

At the time he was living on site at Henfield’s Woods Mills nature reserve with his wife and children.

“It was like a mini-tornado and it took out about 30 per cent of the trees in the area.”

This week’s Couty Times will feature theirs and others fascinating stories with never before seen pictures.

If you remember the chaotic night of October 15 1987, email simon.robb@sussexnewspapers.co.uk or call 01403 751238 and let us know your story.