FIFTY years after the Great Storm devastated Glasgow, Ken Smith speaks to survivors … IT took shape in the Bahamas, powered its way over the Azores, and was forecasted to rush past the west coast of Scotland, leaving merely a few gusts of wind as its calling card. But the mundanely-named Hurricane Low Q suddenly locked horns with another weather front, abruptly changed direction, and thundered up the River Clyde, gathering record speeds of over 125 mph as it hungrily tore through the black sky, 50 years ago on the night of January 14, 1968. Glasgow bore the brunt of it, mercifully at four in the morning when few people were about on the streets, as slates, bricks and debris ripped through the air like deadly ordnance. But the late hour did not save those cowering in their beds, the wind keening outside as windows bulged, and teetering chimney stacks collapsed through tenement roofs like the bombs of the Blitz only two decades earlier. There had been no warning, and when a grey dawn finally raised its sickly head in Scotland, 20 people were dead, nine of them in Glasgow. The worst loss of life was in a tenement on… Read full this story
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