Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet



"St Judes (2013)" storm brings down power lines and trees in Bures.

Electricity disruption for days.
Trees toppled like matchsticks.

Storm hits Southern England
Four people were killed as violent hurricane-force gales rampaged across Britain on Monday 28th Oct 2013, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power and millions of rail commuters stranded.
Gusting at nearly 100mph, the storm uprooted or ripped apart hundreds of trees and flung them onto train tracks, roads and electricity lines, causing chaos throughout southern England.
Rail operators halted nearly every service from the Home Counties into London during the morning rush hour, blaming the need to clear debris from the lines.

The UK Met Office predicted this storm many days in advance, as they watched it speed towards the UK from the USA Eastern seaboard
The St Jude’s Day storm, named after the patron saint of lost causes, was the worst gale to hit the UK in more than a decade.

How did it effect Bures ?
It was forecast to hit East Anglia during the early hours of Monday morning but by 7.00am nothing had occurred apart from light winds and rain, nothing out of the ordinary.

However, by 0745 the winds increased slightly with 100 % cloud coverage and rain. Then by approximately by 0800 the clouds gave way to a clear blue sky, although there were storm clouds approaching many miles away from the west.

Within minutes a magnificent rainbow appeared with a 180deg arc filling the sky.
It was natural to assume, "well that storm didn`t last long"

But from the west, a weather front with a low cloud base was approaching and gradually getting closer, eventually phasing out the rainbow as it passed overhead.

The wind speed increased rapidly to such an extent, trees were stripped of their leaves with their trunks and branches bending at a precarious angles.

This carried on for about 30 minutes, the destruction in those few minutes was massive, as the weather front tore through the village.

The winds then gradually subsided to a very low level.

The wood at the bottom of Clicket Hill was decimated, with fallen trees looking like broken matchsticks.

According to Power Networks ( the UK overhead power distribution company) we were one of the worst hit for cable damage caused by falling trees

Electricity Supply
The entire community lost their supply during the storm on Monday between 0830 and 0900hrs due to falling trees bringing down wires and even poles.

Power Networks drafted in engineers from all over the UK to assist in the restoration work in East Anglia.
By Monday evening a team of engineers had driven down from Stoke on Trent (Western Electric) to specifically deal with the numerous problems in Bures.
They worked each day installing new poles, clearing tree debris and then restoring the power lines which had broken
From Monday they worked non-stop every evening until 2300hrs, then returning early the next day to continue the relentless work of trying to restore power.

The majority of the supply was restored from Wednesday afternoon with the remaining by late Thursday evening.

Sadly, from my own observations a minority of local residents were very hostile towards the engineers, demanding priority that their supply should be reconnected immediately.
A poor reflection of the community, from those who seemed to have no understanding of the tremendous work involved.

The Foreman said to me, "We can`t
even go into the Eight Bells or the shops, without remarks such as "shouldn`t you be outside working"
We even had one lady in the Nayland Road, shouting and banging on the side of the lorry as we passed by school."

I felt ashamed at these uneducated parishioners, who were targeting these hard working engineers who were working over 12 hours per day to restore our supply.

View this album and you will see first hand the devastation caused by this storm.

I think the last part of the village to be restored was Cuckoo Hill, Friends Field and the High Street. This delay, according to Power Networks was because the power lines feeding this section was the subject of five individual tree damage faults.

Power Networks should be given full credit in drafting in a dedicated team from Stoke, in order to restore the Bures supply as quickly as possible.

Saturday, five days after the storm you could still hear the relentless drone of chain saws still clearing tree debris.

Photographic Album Part 1
(Clicket Hill, Sudbury Rd, Colchester Rd areas)
Photographic Album Part 2
(Millennium Bridge and along the Stour)

Images by Alan Beales