Midlothian battered by storm

Dalkeith High Street has been closed most of today, Tuesday 3rd January, due to falling masonry caused by the high winds.

Dalkeith High Street has been closed most of today, Tuesday 3rd January, due to falling masonry caused by the high winds.

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Storm-force gales wreaked havoc last week as Midlothian was battered by the strongest winds recorded in the region since 1979.

Peaking between 8-10am on Tuesday, the gusts uprooted more than 30 trees and left county properties crumbling in their wake.

More than 1500 households were without electricity as a result of the winds, which experts say reached at least 52 knots.

Weather guru Neville Suttle, a meteorologist from Penicuik, told the Advertiser: “I was in Aberdeen when the gales struck and returned the next day to find that my garden fences had been smashed to smithereens. The damage is as severe as anything I have witnessed since coming here 47 years ago.”

At around 10.20am on Tuesday, drama unfolded in Dalkeith town centre when a chimney collapsed above the Ship Inn pub at 92 High Street, showering debris onto the street below.

A witness described the carnage as resembling that of a “bomb site”, with bricks, slates and various parts of three large television aerials lying scattered around. Metal railings outside the pub were left mangled.

With the fallen stack perched precariously on the roof of the three-storey property, police cordoned off the street while council workers erected scaffolding at the front and rear of the building in an attempt to access the chimney.

Proprietor of the Ship Inn Margaret Logan, together with an elderly woman living in the second-floor flat above the pub, was evacuated from the building.

Read full story in the January 12 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.