When was the last tornado in the UK as Storm Isha hits? Brighton News

Storm Isha – with its over 100mph winds – has brought flight, train and ferry cancellations as well as road closures and power cuts in its wake. 

The Met Office put both amber and red warnings at the height of the storm and two new yellow alert warnings extending until midday on Wednesday, January 24 for some parts of the country.

The rare red “danger to life” warning of wind was in force in northern Scotland until 5am on Monday, while an amber warning of wind for the whole country was lifted at 6am.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said on Monday morning that the Government is working hard with authorities to restore power to homes remaining without it.

Transport Scotland has said that it recorded a gust of 107mph on the Tay Bridge in Dundee and the Met Office said there was one of 84mph at Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire.

The “destructive storm” has prompted many Brits to ask whether the severe winds equate to a Tornado. 

Is Storm Isha a tornado?

On Sunday night, The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, issued a ‘Tornado Watch‘ alert on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The warning was in place from 4pm on Sunday, January 22 to 11pm.

It is important to note that the warning has now expired and that there are no tornado warnings in place.

If Storm Isha doesn’t currently qualify as a tornado – when was the last time the UK experienced one?

When was the last time the UK had a tornado?

Tornados are categorised using the International Tornado Intensity Scale (The T Scale) which ranks the event based on separate wind speed, track length, track width and track area, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO).

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The last time the UK experienced a T7 tornado (strongly devastating winds) was December 8 1954 when it hit Gunnersbury in London.

Meanwhile, the most recent T6 tornado (moderately devastating) was on July 28, 2005 (rated T5-6) which hit Birmingham.

TORRO notes that the most intense tornado on record for the UK (and England) went through Welbourn, Wellingore, Navenby and Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire on October 23, 1666.

The Welbourn tornado has been rated at T8-9 with a reported maximum track width of 200m and a track length of 5km.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-22 11:37:00


Former Brighton Girls site in Hove on the market for £4.5m Brighton News

The plot in Radinden Manor Road, Hove, was home to Brighton Girls Junior School until September 2021 when the children were moved to the main site in Montpelier Road, Brighton.

Now the 1.7 acres with 37,000sqft of existing buildings is up for sale, with estate agents Knight Frank saying there is potential to redevelop the site for “alternative uses subject to the necessary consents” including “residential or senior living”.

In the listing brochure, Knight Frank said a planning report has been prepared which sets out the planning parameters of the property and development possibilities.

Knight Frank said the school had worked with IID Architecture and Nexus Planning to prepare a “high level” feasibility of residential development and senior living/extra care schemes.

A preapplication has been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council, it said.

“The property comprises a main red brick building of traditional masonry construction with flat roof and UPVC double glazing throughout,” said Knight Frank.

“The main building previously housed a reception, dining room and servery, the music rooms, library and science laboratories, art studio and ICT.

“The main building also housed the nursery, a large spacious area with a purpose built outdoor play area.”

To the south east of the plot is the caretaker’s bungalow which the listing says will become vacant in April.

The hard playing courts and astro-turf, which was completed in 2016, will not be sold but will be retained by the school.

A school spokesman said: “Following the successful return of the prep school to the main Brighton Girls’ school site in 2022, part of the Radinden Manor Road site is up for sale. Brighton Girls’ will retain the sports pitches and is committed to the continued availability of recreation and sports activities for students and the local community.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-22 12:00:00


Live: Storm Isha to hit Sussex with strong winds and rain Brighton News

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 09:37:54


Storm Isha: Sussex could be hit by tornadoes amid strong winds Brighton News

The county is in the throes of a Met Office yellow warning for wind, in place from noon today until noon tomorrow. 

The weather service has warned of possible disruption to road, rail, air and ferry transport, along with a chance of power outages and delays on exposed routes.

From 6pm today, even stronger winds are set to batter the coast and an amber warning for wind is in place until 6am tomorrow. 

The storm has prompted the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) to issue its own warning, with a risk of tornadoes in Sussex from 8pm tonight until 7am tomorrow. 

On its website, Torro warned of isolated tornadoes, wind gusts of up to 80mph and hail

A spokesman for Torro said: “One or two tornadoes are possible.”

The Argus: Torro's tornado map. Red means strong tornadoes are possible, yellow means tornados are possible.Torro’s tornado map. Red means strong tornadoes are possible, yellow means tornados are possible. (Image: TORRO)

The warning is slightly less severe than for Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which are on “tornado watch”. 

Two tornadoes struck Littlehampton and Wick within weeks of each other last autumn.

Tornadoes are a rapidly rotating column of air that reaches between the base of a storm cloud and the ground.

They form in very unsettled weather conditions as part of severe thunderstorms.

Around 30 tornadoes a year are reported in the UK. While they are typically small and short-lived, they can cause structural damage if they pass over a built-up area.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 15:06:27


Brighton College’s sway on conservation area questioned Brighton News

One householder, Mark Strong, addressed councillors about Brighton College before they approved an official document entitled the College Conservation Area Character Statement.

He spoke out at the start of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Development Committee meeting.

Mr Strong said there was strong local feeling that the statement’s name gave “undue influence” to Brighton College and did not address how pedestrian safety was affected by the public school.


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He said: “Will the chair consider renaming the statement, eg, to ‘Walpole and College Conservation Area Character Statement’ – and also to support further investigation of pedestrian safety and amenity in the area, including consideration of street improvements?”

A five-week consultation on the area’s character statement generated 75 responses, of which 59 were residents, with 46 people either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the draft character statement.

Outside the meeting, Mr Strong said: “Obviously, I can’t say why they didn’t like it but reading the responses implies it’s because they’re not happy with the college’s recent developments.”

The council anonymised comments that were included in a report to the committee.

One said: “The statement does not identify the area as predominantly residential and … gives greater powers to Brighton College to develop sites within the conservation area by additions to the school buildings by changing residential use to education uses.”

Another anonymous comment said: “The financial influence of Brighton College should not be allowed to influence the planning process and has had a significant impact on the drafting of the character statement.”

Brighton College itself responded to the consultation, saying that the school archivist should have been involved and the statement did not recognise the “high-quality” new buildings on the campus.

A conservation area character statement can be drawn up to define aspects of special archaeological and historical interest in a conservation area.

The College Conservation Area was created in April 1988 and covers Brighton College and eight residential roads close to the school.

It is the last of Brighton and Hove’s 33 conservation areas to have a character statement prepared.

The statement itself said: “The character of the area is a mix between the centrally Gothic campus, with its later 20th century and contemporary additions, and 19th century terraced housing.”

Labour councillor Alan Robins said that a change of name could be considered as part of a review of the conservation area.

Councillor Robins, who chairs the council’s Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Development Committee, said: “The statement does not confer any undue influence on Brighton College or any other organisations or individuals.

“The purpose is to help assist in the design and heritage aspects of the future development proposals affected by any part of the conservation area.”

Regarding road safety and anti-social parking, Councillor Robins said that this was not within the remit of the character statement.

Officials had passed on relevant information to the council’s parking strategy team.

Councillors voted to publish the College Conservation Area Character Statement.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 09:08:05


Tributes for Brighton music teacher Muriel Hart MBE Brighton News

Muriel Hart MBE taught music for decades and was the rehearsal pianist with the Brighton Orpheus Choir for 70 years.

Ms Hart died on December 29 aged 99 and a funeral will be held for her on Monday at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton.

Tributes have poured in online for Ms Hart who taught generations of pupils at Patcham Junior School for 20 years in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Argus: Muriel Hart was a well-respected musician and teacher in BrightonMuriel Hart was a well-respected musician and teacher in Brighton (Image: Supplied)

Her family said that “music was a constant in Muriel’s life from birth”.

Ms Hart’s great-niece Harriet Thomas-Fitzpatrick, 31, said: “Auntie Muriel was an inspiration to so many and she will be so very missed.

“Spending family time together was always a joy, from driving through the countryside and stopping for a picnic, to listening to her stories from the past in the warmth of her home.

“She may have had a strict school teacher exterior but her heart was so big. She was the kindest, most selfless woman and did so much for her family. We know she’ll be in heaven at peace with her mum, dad, grandma Gandy and cousin Joan.”

The Argus: Ms Hart with her great-niece Harriet Thomas-FitzpatrickMs Hart with her great-niece Harriet Thomas-Fitzpatrick (Image: Supplied)

Ms Hart grew up in Grantham Road, Brighton, and lived in the city for her entire life.

Her family said she had memories of playing piano at around 14 years old during blackouts in the Second World War.

She recalled learning the skills of improvisation due to having no lights to read music with.

Ms Hart was awarded the MBE in 2005 for her services to music and the community. She received her medal from the late Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

The Argus: Ms Hart celebrating her 70 years as an accompanist with the Brighton Orpheus Choir.Ms Hart celebrating her 70 years as an accompanist with the Brighton Orpheus Choir. (Image: Sam Stephenson/The Argus)

She directed the Golden Age singers in Lewes,  as well as three singing groups at the University of the Third Age in Hove, Worthing and Peacehaven.

She was also the honorary secretary of the Sussex Musicians Club for nearly 40 years.

Ms Hart lived in Orchard Gardens, Hove, for 62 years.

Her family said that it was not unusual to see her hard in the garden on her hands and knees pulling out weeds and tending to her plants.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 11:00:00


Bexhill Northeye could still be used to house refugees Brighton News

In an update released by Rother District Council, Councillor Doug Oliver said plans to house asylum seekers at Northeye, on the edge of Bexhill, are still in progress.

Northeye was a category C prison from 1969 to 1992 and suffered a massive fire because of a riot in April 1986. Roofing which contained asbestos was set ablaze and there have been fears about site safety.

The Home Office has been “exploring” the use of the Bexhill site for detention purposes since last year.

Cllr Oliver said: “Rother District Council understands that the Home Office is still exploring the use of the site for detention purposes and assessments continue to be undertaken to consider the feasibility. No decision has been made regarding the future use of the site.  

“We are continuing to work with partners though regular multi-agency forums and remain committed to ensure that any use of the Northeye site is lawful and acceptable.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 12:59:33


Brighton to London trains: Long diversions amid engineering works Brighton News

Some 1,500 metres of track will be lifted over the weekend as improvements are made on the Brighton Mainline between Gatwick Airport and Purley.

The works mean that no direct trains will run between Gatwick and London with services being diverted through Horsham – adding almost an hour onto the trip.

To London Victoria, all passengers will have to change at Three Bridges, making the journey take one hour and 58 minutes.

Passengers for London Bridge will see even longer diversions – with journey planners showing a two hours and seven minutes journey taking a train to Three Bridges, a rail replacement bus to East Grinstead and another train to London Bridge.

Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s Sussex route director, said: “We’re really pleased to see further investment being made in improving the reliability of the Brighton Main Line, a key commuter route that needs constant work to keep it running.

“We’ll be taking all lines out of use between Gatwick and Purley to tackle a host of maintenance work, including renewing track at a major railway junction near Coulsdon.”

Gatwick fliers have been told to allow plenty of time to travel before their flight.

Jenny Saunders, customer services director for Southern and Thameslink, added: “While we’ve arranged alternatives to help our customers get where they need to be, several routes are affected and many journeys will take considerably longer than normal.

A direct service will run between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport via Horsham, calling at Clapham Junction, Horsham and Three Bridges.

Trains that usually run between Littlehampton and London, and between Eastbourne,  Hastings, Ore and London, will start and terminate at Three Bridges.

A limited service will run between Brighton and Three Bridges, and between Horsham and Gatwick Airport.

Buses will also replace trains between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport, East Grinstead and Three Bridges and Gatwick Airport and Redhill.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Passengers planning to use replacement buses are advised that because of a national shortage of bus drivers, they should check before they travel and may experience delays.”

Journeys between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport will take around 80 minutes instead of the usual 30 to 40.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-20 09:03:53


Brighton garden centre to host potato gardening workshops Brighton News

The 15-minute “spud-tastic” sessions, organised by Dobbies Garden Centres, will give gardeners of all abilities the chance to learn from horticultural experts.

The sessions aim to encourage people who live near its stores to give “growing your own” a go, whether they are a novice, a seasoned gardener or an enthusiast.

Two sessions are taking place at Dobbies’ Brighton branch in Warren Road next month which will unveil the history of the spud and information about different parts of the vegetable.

People will learn about the different types of potato varieties, expert tips on how to care for and protect crops and advice on ensuring a successful potato harvest.

Children will also gain an understanding of how potatoes grow, what gardeners need to help them thrive and when it is best to sow and harvest them.

The Argus: Children are also invited to take part in the workshopsChildren are also invited to take part in the workshops (Image: Dobbies Garden Centres)

Dobbies’ plant buyer Nigel Lawton said: “From Maris Piper to Potato Charlotte, there is a wide variety of potatoes to choose from that you can grow for yourself at home.

“All you need is a potato sack or tub, filled with a quarter of good quality peat-free compost, three seed potatoes evenly spaced on top of the soil, covered with another layer of compost and then water regularly to keep the compost moist.

“Your potatoes will be ready to be harvested in as little as 12 weeks.”

A session will take place at Dobbies’ Brighton store at 10.30am on Saturday, February 3, with a “Little Seedlings club”, designed for children aged between four and ten, the following morning spotlighting the humble vegetable.

Potatoes are the most important food crop globally, after rice, wheat and corn, and were named as the UK’s most popular vegetable at the end of last year.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 05:00:00