Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Britain battered by strong winds

A thick layer of sand was blown off the beach on the seafront road in Bournemouth (Cancer Research UK/PA)

Britain has been battered by winds of up to 56mph, forecasters said.

The run of rainy, unseasonable weather continued as blustery gales swept up the country from the south coast.

The strongest winds were in Southampton where they reached 56mph.

Brendan Jones, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "That is a strong gust for the time of year. Across most of southern England and south Wales there have been gusts of 45 to 50mph which is pretty blustery."

In south west London two nine-year-old boys were suffered serious head injuries when a tree fell at a cricket ground. A third boy was treated for leg injuries.

In Blackpool, the inaugural concert by Sir Elton John at a new venue was cut short by strong winds. Nearly two hours into his set, Elton told a disappointed crowd of almost 11,000 that on police advice he had been told to stop playing.

In Bournemouth a charity 10k run due to take place on Sunday has also been hit after a thick layer of sand was blown off the beach on to the seafront course.

The seafront road was covered with up to a foot of sand, leaving Bournemouth Borough Council with insufficient time to clear it before the Cancer Research UK Race for Life events in the morning. Instead, the charity is staging two 5k runs.

Hazel Bedford, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: "The sand drifts mean you cannot see where the road ends and the beach starts in some areas. We don't want to risk twisted ankles or people falling, so for safety's sake, we are going to restrict the course to the 5k that the council is kindly able to clear for us."

Nearly 5,680 women are due to take part in the Bournemouth events, 700 of them in the 10k. Those who were due to do the 10k course can instead do the 5k course and they will also be offered places at the Southampton 10k Race for Life on July 8.

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