STORMS Ellen and Francis seem to have brought an abrupt end to summer in Sussex.

But rough seas and bracing winds are nothing new for those who live by the sea.

These stunning photos from The Keep archive in Falmer show Brighton and Hove residents braving windy weather in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties.

Yet the most fierce storm to hit Sussex in the 20th century came on October 15 1987, forever known as the Great Storm.

Hours before it hit, BBC weatherman Michael Fish famously said: “Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way.

“Well if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t.”

Overnight gusts of up to 120mph battered the Sussex coast. Residents woke up to a trail of destruction in the morning.

The Argus: Sheltering from the wind on Hove seafront in 1937. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The KeepSheltering from the wind on Hove seafront in 1937. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The Keep

The top of the Royal Pavilion’s minaret had plunged through the ceiling on to an £86,000 carpet.

It took 15 workers to lift the two-ton globe.

Thankfully nearby trees had only fallen on telephone boxes near the Pavilion, saving it from further damage.

Many of The Level’s elm trees were uprooted. An estimated 15 million fell across England during the storm.

Nowhere was that more clear than at Chanctonbury Ring near Steyning.

Two-thirds of its beech tree woods dating back to the 1760s were destroyed.

Meanwhile in Kew’s Wakehurst Place near Haywards Heath more than 25,000 trees were uprooted.

Yet gardens manager Chris Clennett told The Argus in 2012 he had slept through the storm.

“It looked like the whole place had been flattened,” he said.

“When I was walking around the gardens, we got lost because all our bearings and landmarks were gone.”

To order copies of these photos, call The Keep on 01273 482349 or visit Have the photo reference number to hand.