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Remembering the great storm at Praa Sands in 1994

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

  • Praa Sands, stripped of its sand in the great storm of 1994. : Graham Milward

  • Rebuilding the steps down to Praa Sands after they were swept away in 1994. : Graham Milward

  • Workmen survey a gaping black hole in the sea wall at Praa Sands after the storm in 1994. : Graham Milward

  • Porthleven's outer harbour suffered worse damage in the storm of 1994 than this year. : Graham Milward

  • Gale force winds stripped the roof and caused substantial damage to the Coach and Horses pub, inland from Praa Sands at Kenneggy Downs. : Graham Milward

  • The beach shop at Praa Sands had to be demolished after it was damaged by the storms in 1994. The steps, on the right, leading down from the car park have been washed away. : Graham Milward

  • A huge wave breaks higher than the house at Rinsey Point, on the east side of Praa Sands, in 1994. : Graham Milward

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THE storms that lashed the UK over Christmas and new year have been called the worst for 20 years.

The beach at Praa Sands has been stripped back by the force of the unrelenting sea and all the sand has washed away.

Graham Wilward, who has lived in Praa Sands for 40 years, got in touch with the West Briton to share a selection of photographs from the last great storms of the winter of 1993 and early 1994.

He said: "The storm this year was a 'good' one – but not as bad as the previous one.

"The one 20 years ago was really fierce and caused all kinds of damage.

"The beach was completely cleared down to shale. Then, I remember, all these rocks appeared covering the beach in just one day.

"There was all sorts of damage to the buildings and the beach shop had to be demolished afterwards.

"I remember a concrete sea wall, I saw it floating out to sea. The sand and water slurry was the same density, you see?"

Gale force winds also caused widespread damage to buildings inland, plus they were eroded by the waves.

Mr Wilward added: "The amount of sand that was taken away was unbelievable.

"It's been the same this year and it's gone to the bottom of the sea. No one is really worried because it will come back again over time.

"Before that, there was a ship went down before off the Scillies that had a cargo of plastic cigarette lighters. We had loads of them come ashore.

"They all got covered up and vanished over the years but during that storm they came back. I remember picking dozens of them off the beach."

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