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Freak twister wreaks havoc in rural area

Villagers describe tornado's trail of destruction in Tarvin and Duddon

Tree surgeons Stephen Challinor, Liam Wilbur and Oliver Davies of DKC Contracts clearing up the tree debris in Old Moss Lane

A violent tornado snapped trees like twigs, blocked a road, destroyed farm buildings and hurled a boat into a neighbour’s field.

Witnesses described the scene as like something from the Wizard of Oz but fortunately there are no reports of any injuries following the twister which hit the Tarvin/Duddon/Stapleford area about 4pm on Friday.

Julia Deynem, of Kelsall, who grazes horses at Duddon, says this is the fourth twister on their land in recent times and wonders if the topography of the land is responsible.

This time £2,500 field shelter was destroyed which was a replacement for another wrecked by a twister in April. They have previously lost a full stable block and a couple of oak trees.

 

“There were two massive skid marks by the field shelter, whether one of the horses was pushed towards it?” said Mrs Deynem. “I have contacted the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation to look into it. We can’t be so unlucky.”

“We were watching the forecast which was saying bad weather was coming but after this I don’t know what we were worrying about Sunday and Monday for!”

Mrs Deynem, who is married to Marc, added: “There were many trees down, the electricity was off, cow sheds, horse field shelters, fence panels, roof tiles, all trashed. I also heard that a car was damaged in Tarvin.”

Dairy farmer Andrew Winward, of Stapleford Hall, was outside when the twister hit shortly after he heard thunder. The freak occurrence wrecked trees on his land, tossing huge branches into the air which landed tens of feet away, and flattened maize in a neighbour’s field. But all the cattle were fine.

He said: “It was as still as this now, then all of a sudden, I’m not exaggerating, whoosh, I thought ‘what?’ and you looked at these trees around here and they were just going from side to side and it lasted less than a minute. And then it was just still as still as can be.

“It was like something you see on a film,” said the farmer, who took shelter in an outbuilding because he ‘had a job to stand up’.

Andrew and his wife Emma were relieved their four young sons were inside and out of harm’s way.

Ted Mount, of nearby Old Moss Farm, was away from the house with his wife and family but returned to find roof slates blown off the roof of the house and stables, with a wooden fence flattened.

A perspex skylight on an outhouse was smashed. And a 12-ft long sailing boat, perched on top of logs to keep them dry, was hurled into the air over a tall hedgerow and into a neighbouring field.

Ted, a father-of-three, said: “It was throwing slates around, which was quite interesting, and punched a couple of holes in the roof. It’s quite impressive. It’s a shame to have missed it but it could have been dangerous for the children.”

Tree surgeon Liam Wilbur, from Northwich, witnessed the twister and later helped clear Old Moss Lane which was blocked by fallen branches.

He said: “Once I had worked out the direction it was going and I knew I was safe, it was very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that in my whole life. You only tend to see these things on telly. You’ve got storm chasers in America.”

Farmer Ken Fellows, of Moss Lane Farm, said a tree had smashed through his turkey shed roof but fortunately the birds were OK. He estimated the damage at about £2,000 but says insurance should cover most of the cost.

His wife Jane added: “It’s caused a bit of excitement any way. What a mess! He’s 80 gone and we’ve never seen anything like this in all our lives. It was a twister and it twisted all this stuff up.”

 

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