Stories from the past: 2002 storms batter Kirton

Householders in Kirton had a lucky escape when two trees were uprooted by a violent storm and crashed into houses.

Householders in Kirton had a lucky escape when two trees were uprooted by a violent storm and crashed into houses.

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Householders in two homes in Kirton had a lucky escape when trees uprooted by violent storms crashed into their properties.

Police received more than 300 calls through the course of the storm, which saw driving rain and gale-force winds batter the area.

A total of 12,661 properties were left without power as the town and villages were hit, and motorists were warned not to make journeys unless it was absolutely necessary. One lorry driver had to climb out of his cab after the vehicle blew over at Fosdyke.

Offices at Fruitex, in Donington, suffered some of the worst damage, as a 27 foot by 32 foot section of the roof blew off. Bosses at the firm estimated around £10,000 worth of damage was caused.

○ Cruel kids put an end to a 200-year tradition at a church in Freiston.

Sheep had been grazing in the churchyard at St James’ for more than two centuries, but the activities of mean youths in the village had meant most of the flock had to be destroyed.

Groups of children had been seen chasing the grey face Dartmoors around the site, putting broken glass in their water and letting them out into the road, among other things.

Jenny Hampstead, who looked after the animals, said most of them had become so traumatised by the behaviour they had to be put down. Those remaining had been found a safer home.

She said: “The sheep have medieval grazing rights to the churchyard. I hope one day they will come back, but we will have to be sure they are safe.”

○ After more than 15 years of planning, work was finally due to begin on Pescod Square shopping centre.

Three-quarters of the units had been pre-let to national chains.