Severe Gale

Severe Gale at Skegness

Damage to Church and Other Property

On Friday last a gale of exceptional violence prevailed in this town and neighbourhood. The wind blew with terrific force from the west the greater part of the day, and roofs of houses were damaged, and hay stacks blown over, but St Matthew’s Church and the Lion Hotel suffered the greatest injury.
At the former the chimney at the north-west corner of the church was blown down, and did considerable damage to the roof of the north aisle. A great number of the tiles have been broken. besides seriously damaging the woodwork of the roof. On Sunday evening it was discovered that the falling of the chimney also broke a gas pipe. Shortly before the evening service the gas light whas lighted as usual by the parish clerk, J. Dunn, and not long after it was found that the sacred edifice was beginning to fill with gas. Fortunately the discovery was made in time to prevent any accident occurring, and the gas immediately turned off.
The church wardens were communicated with, and the question seriously considered as to whether it would be advisable to re-light the gas and hold the usual evening service. Doors and windows were thrown open and every possible means adopted to drive the escaped gas from the church. In this they succeeded, and it was found that they could without danger re-light the gas and hold the service.
The congregation assembled at the usual time – half-past six – and knew nothing of what had just transpired. Had they known, it is probable that the rector, his officers, and choir would have had the service to themselves. The damage done to the church by the falling of the chimney is estimated to be £12 or £15.

At the Lion Hotel,near the railway stations, two or three very large panes of plate glass, expensively lettered and painted, were blown down, and fell with a great crash. Being situated at the corner they had the full force of the wind.

A tradesman in the Lumley Road had a narrow escape. When passing the corner of the hotel he was nearly blown down by the force of the wind, and caught hold of one of the pillars at the doorway to support himself, and to which he clung for a few minutes. He had hardly let go his hold and gone a few yards off when the panes fell, and a portion on the spot where he had been standing.

It is not long since these panes of glass were put in, and the damage in this case is estimated to be not less than £20.

Source: Skegness Herald 1892/93
Our two photos below show the Lion Hotel before 1898. (We can state this because the Clock Tower hadn’t yet been built.)Prior to discovering this old news story, I imagined the curved column on the corner of the hotel, immediately below the statue of the lion to be some sort of solid brickwork. Does this story reveal that it was in fact heavily lettered, painted glass panes?In the bottom picture, this area appears to be blackened out. Was this a temporary ‘patch’ put up after the storm damage?



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