Monday 3 September 2012

Gwelo Hailstorm

Darryl Burlin Writes:-

Sorry cannot remember the year, but the month was October the 8th.

Must have been in the late 70's.

Gwelo Hailstorm 1Extracted  by Eddy Norris, from the Gwelo Times and for use on the "Our Rhodesia Heritage" Blog that ORAFs administers.
 "THE Times sold like hot cakes last week, so much so that we were soon left with no newspapers at all. People were buying two, three, even as many as six copies at a time!
 Well, there are no prizes for guessing that the cause of the 'stampede' was the spectacular photographs of the upper part of Livingstone Avenue taken by R. Hagemann, after the hailstorm on Sunday night October 8. Mr Hagemann used a fairly long time exposure to achieve these first-rate results, and the photographs would certainly grace any Christmas card!
 For all those people who 'missed out' last week and the many who wanted extra copies to send to disbelieving friends and relatives, we publish them again.
 It is hoped that prints of the photographs will also be on sale shortly at the Times office, K and K Arcade, Fifth Street."

Gwelo Hailstorm

Original Newspaper cutting

Gwelo Hailstorm


Thanks to Darryl and Maureen Burlin for sharing their memories with us all,

Comments can be sent to Eddy Norris at

For our non Rhodesian readers, Gwelo is now Gweu and Rhodesia is Zimbabwe,
the Rhodesian Air Force had Thornhill air base positioned there.

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At 8 September 2012 at 14:53 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Tim Musto Writes:-

Chris Lucas - past Chairman Midlands Gliding Club - responds below - ref Gwelo hail storm

AT the time that Hail storm hit Gwelo I was the used car sales manager and had a few cars damaged and the date was the 6th Oct 1978
I still have one of the original photos.

At 8 September 2012 at 15:13 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Bonnie Wainwright (nee Garrett) (RhAF) Writes:-

Thanks for the photos of the hailstorm. I remember it well. It was 1978 6 weeks before I got married.

At 9 September 2012 at 08:20 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Mike Hamence (RhAf) Writes:-

The year was 1978.
That Sunday evening Neville Johnson, Bill Brown and myself in Neville's car watched the storm as we approached Gwelo, coming over the crest from Hunter's Road.
The three of us were to take up our new appointments at TH: Nev: STO, Bill: Stn Armament Officer & myself OCASS.
The saddest sight of all the next morning was the the Flame Lily(?) trees along the central reservation of Livingstone Ave stripped bare.
Did they ever recover their full glory?

At 9 September 2012 at 08:26 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Terry Craven (RhAF) Writes:-

Re the hail storm, we remember it well. We were living in Southdowns at the time No 5 Cupar rd, and we had a flat metal roof. The weight of the ice caused our roof to collapse along with the celings and flooding out the house.

Margs decided to drive thru the storm to take our children Paul & Louise to Ian & Jenny Cruickshank's house in married quarters, in our Datsun 120Y. In the meantime I was on the roof trying to brush off the hail from the roof to prevent any further damage as well trying to dodge the lightening next thing Ian turned up to help - a futile exercise to say the least. We spent the night with Ian & Jenny. To top it all the hailstorm did not reach MQ if i remember correctly.

Every part of the house was damaged, the sad lesson learnt was that the insurance company hardly paid out for anything. From that time on we have never had insurance again.

With our moves from Zim to Wales and now to Aussie our records have gone astray, seem to think hail was 77!!?

The next day when we returned to the house, we found we were not the only ones whos homes were damaged.
Malcolm Coleman came round to say he had lost his cabbages.

Thanks to Darryl and ORAFS for the pics and the reminder.

At 9 September 2012 at 08:30 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Nick Sayers (son of Ron) Writes:-

Hope your day is going well , I remember the storm like it was yesterday. I was in our garage at home when it was on.
I was unable the get into the house because of the hail, the noise on the garage roof was unbelieveable. It was early afternoon, 1977. I remember going with my late dad into town to take pictures, also of Dulys car sales yard. It was his favourite hang out.

At 9 September 2012 at 08:33 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Jill Waddleton Writees:-

I'm almost certain that this storm took place in 1978, I remember the hailstorm very well, I went to Church and persuaded my husband to come with me, that’s why it hailed, my twin girls were just walking and they were born in 1977. When the Church service was finished I remember walking almost knee deep in the ice, and by the time I reached the car I could no longer feel my feet, but at the same token it was a magnificent sight.
Oh! to look back on all these fabulous days hey, but unfortunately it will just have to remain in our hearts and memories, we can’t bring it back (wish we could).
I hope I am correct, if there is anyone else out there, I will be very interested as well.

At 13 September 2012 at 03:35 , Blogger Unknown said...

This is one of my earliest childhood memories, and I vividly remember crying to my Mom that we were all going to die!! We were visiting friends, and I remember the entire yard being white, and the noise on the roof. I thought it would never stop and we would all drown. I still get a sinking feeling in my tummy when it hails.


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