Widespread damage reported as town is hit by high winds

The Chrysties van which was blown off the A7 down an embankment
The Chrysties van which was blown off the A7 down an embankment

A CHRYSTIES van and a large tree in the Violet Woods were amongst those which fell victim to the gale force winds that battered the town on Tuesday.

As storms wreaked havoc across Scotland, Teries were also left counting the cost as strong gusts damaged slates, chimneys, trees and street lights.

Councillor Stuart Marshall said his phone was red hot with incidents throughout the day.

“I can’t believe how busy it was on Tuesday,” he said. “Several calls came in regarding fallen trees, and one that came crashing down at the Violet Woods certainly came within a few feet of bringing down overhead power lines. A garden fence that was adjacent to the woods was badly damaged as a result.”

But just north of Hawick, two Chrysties Furniture Centre employees had a very lucky escape when their van was blown off the road, before dramatically splitting in half.

Company owner Bob Chrystie told the Hawick News: “The van had been delivering in Selkirk and Lilliesleaf and was on its way back to Hawick when it was struck by a gust of wind which blew it onto its side.

“Fortunately it landed on the grass at the side of the road where it travelled on its side for about 50 yards, before hitting a dip, at which time it righted itself back onto its wheels.”

Mr Chrystie said the van body then separated from the chassis and ended up in trees further away from the road.

He added: “By good fortune the driver, Graham Clark, and his colleague Kevin McCaughey, were able to clamber out, shaken but uninjured.

“They were lucky lads but will be stiff for a few days after their ordeal. The van, however, will not be going anywhere anytime soon!”

Elsewhere, residents in Denholm and Hassendean also reported problems with trees being blown down, and the Burnfoot shops had to be fenced off for public safety after damage caused to buildings.

Councillor Marshall commented: “The front and back of the shops had to be cordoned off due to plaster falling from a chimney, as well as slates and guttering being blown off a nearby house.”

There were also calls made from worried residents in Dovemount Place and West Stewart Place, with the two streets in total darkness due to the failure of the street lighting.

Police duty Inspector Mike Wynne said that throughout Tuesday they received a total of 50 weather-related calls from across the region, 37 regarding trees down.

But he added: “In the Hawick area most notably we were notified of a Chrysties van being blown off the A7 just north of the town, but thankfully there was nothing else serious and no reports of any injuries.”