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This is the dramatic story of the tornado which struck Linslade on Sunday 21 May 1950. Much of the information comes from the official report of the Buckinghamshire County Council Fire Brigade. The report records some amazing facts:
(a) Parked motor cars were lifted bodily and deposited some considerable distance away.

(b) Several hundreds of trees were uprooted, drawn high into the air, and dropped large distances away.
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(c) Streets of houses and shops were stripped of roof tiles, in many cases of complete roofs.

(d) Water from the canal was sucked into a spout 250 feet high.

(e) Cattle and horses were lifted bodily and dropped in other fields, sometimes not the fields of their owners!
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From midday Linslade had suffered thunderstorms with torrential rain and lightning. Just before 5 pm the streets were empty owing to the bad weather but a few people ventured out to attend the evening service at St Barnabas Church and the Bethel Chapel. Witnesses saw a dense black cloud which caused the area to fall into extreme darkness.
Less than an hour later many properties in Linslade had been wrecked. Buildings which had been left without roofs suffered further damage from the heavy rain which followed the tornado.
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Many houses in Linslade were uninhabitable after the tornado had passed through.
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Residents were left with a massive clearing up operation which took several weeks. Few of the properties were covered by insurance and a fund was set up to help cover the costs.
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Shown opposite some damaged properties in Old Road, Linslade. Click on the photograph to read the titles of the films advertised that week.
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Click here to learn more about tornadoes.