The so-called ‘Great Storm’, which hit some southern and western parts of the country with winds up to 90 miles an hour, had a limited impact on Oxfordshire. Its middle of the night approach meant that only the most drunk or dedicated of students were aware of its presence.
Despite this, the storm, dubbed #cherwellgreatstorm on Twitter, prompted concern amongst Oxford students.
St Anne’s welfare rep, Cai Gwyn Wilshaw, took to Twitter to raise concern about the panic-consumption of Mini Rolls in the wake of the storm’s onset, tweeting that “Panic-buying followed by panic-eating descends on St Anne’s Welfare Tea as #cherwellgreatstorm approaches…mini-rolls have officially run out.”
This was later confirmed by Wilshaw, who told Cherwell, “Hysteria set in very early on here just south of Birmingham (St Anne’s) and me and my fellow Welfare Rep recognised that it was our duty to ensure our college could weather the storm.
Masses of panicked students flooded the JCR, and within a few short minutes, we encountered a serious lack of mini-rolls. We waded out into the storm once more, and returned to the Welfare Tea with further supplies, but sadly the mini-rolls were the first casualty of the nationwide panic-buying that preceded the tempest.”
The storm also caused damage to student housing. Sam Bumby, a student at Balliol College, expressed his dismay on nearly losing his back gate, telling Cherwell, “Our back gate was ripped out of the wall by the wind late on Saturday night. There were fears that the ‘great storm’ would carry the gate away before our landlord could fix it on Monday, but they proved to be unfounded.”
Concerns were also raised on twitter that the OULC co-chair Helena Dollimore had been caught in the storm as she travelled away from Oxford. One Oxford student tweeted, “Worried about @helenadollimore getting stormy up north. Will she return from Manchester by 6th week? #cherwellgreatstorm”
However, it was later confirmed that Dollimore was safe, as she posted on twitter, “Woke up & panicked grey outside coach windows meant we were in a #storm hurricane funnel. We were actually in a tunnel. #cherwellgreatstorm”.