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That Was The West That Was: Torcross storm damage, 1979

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 10, 2014

By Simon Parker, Living Cornwall Editor, Twitter: @simonparkerwmn

  • Cleaning up at Torcross in January 1979

  • Stormy seas at Torcross in January 1979

  • Storm damage at Torcross in January 1979

  • Storm damage at Torcross in January 1979

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THAT WAS THE WEST THAT WAS: In our continuing series looking at the Westcountry through archive photographs, this week’s collection focuses on the huge storm that hit Torcross in South Devon on 4 January 1979.

The destructive storms that have battered the South West in recent weeks prompted Judy Hawkins of Torquay to look out a collection of photographs taken at the time by her husband. Michael Hawkins, who died last year, was the County Engineer for Devon from 1973 to 1990. During his working life he witnessed various severe weather incidents, none more so than the storm that hit Torcross.

Many homes and businesses along the seafront were destroyed when a deep low in the English Channel whipped up enormous waves that hit the village, sending boulders crashing into roofs, masonry and roads. We are grateful to Mrs Hawkins for allowing us to share her husband’s pictures.

With the generous help of South West Image Bank, Cornwall Studies Library and WMN readers, That Was The West That Was is a weekly print and online pictorial feature. From community life to major events, farming to industry, sport to war, churches to festivals, the everyday to the dramatic... in fact everything that made the region tick.

And we’d like you to share in the project by dusting off your old photograph albums. If you have a great picture from the region’s past and want to share it with readers, please either send it to That Was The West That Was, Western Morning News, Studio 5-11, Millbay Road, Plymouth PL1 3LF or email it to: sparker@westernmorningnews.co.uk

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