It is my duty, as a historian and commentator on 21st century urban living in the NW London context, to record the dreadful weather event that gripped the nation yesterday in a maelstrom of excitement and jaw-dropping awe at the fearful power of untamed nature. [Great start, keep it up: Ed]
There had been lightning strikes to the south west for a while, over Windsor and Slough and I was tracking them on the excellent Lightning Maps real-time website as the storm moved slowly in our direction. Around 12:45 with the sky blackened by thick cloud there was a strike seemingly almost overhead (which Lightning Maps showed as centred on the woods about half a mile away) and then driving rain and a hailstorm that covered our conservatory roof in a layer of ice. It stopped within a few minutes and was replaced by clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. It seemed the worst was over.
But for the good folk of our neighbouring borough the nightmare was only just beginning. The storm shifted eastward, gathered its strength and like a militant trade-unionist, struck. [erm, perhaps, like a great white shark or a panther would be a better metaphor: Ed]. OK, anyway, undoubtedly boosted by the latent heat of the suburbs the storm became a veritable tornado and, thanks to the Evening Standard (not to mention the snappy responses on Twitter), the chilling results of its trail of destruction and mayhem can be seen.
Let us hold back no longer and reveal the full scale of this wind-borne assault on London. A garage, that looks from the pictures as though it was about to collapse anyway, was laid low.
The people of Harrow have my best wishes as they grapple with the aftermath of this catastrophe. We stand united with them. The garage, surely, will be rebuilt to the very last crumbling breeze-block and cheap roof beam.When they set up the Restore The Harrow Lean-To Fund I urge you to give all you can. A better, finer, Harrow shall rise from the ashes.Thank you.