Anyone lamenting freezing temperatures, snowfall, and occasional power-cuts should be thankful that weather conditions are still far from the extremes of January 1968 when the Great Storm hit central Scotland.

Otherwise known as Hurricane Low Q, it wrought a trail of utter devastation. The storm claimed 20 lives immediately and another 30 from the armies of workmen who took months repairing the damage. The final repair bill was estimated at (pounds) 30m.

In Glasgow alone, more than

300 homes were destroyed and around 70,000 were damaged, leaving 2000 people homeless. In total, some 250,000 houses in central Scotland were affected and many families were forced to live with makeshift tarpaulin roofs for lengthy periods.

At its peak the storm, with winds of up to 140mph, battered its way across Glasgow, affecting Clydeside districts such as Partick and Govan particularly badly. In the immediate aftermath, workmen repairing roofs could identify a discernible track across the buildings suggesting a tornado-style storm similar to the twisters of the American mid-west

Residents remember tenement buildings shaking violently and many witnessed whole buildings collapse. Lampposts bent, trees were unrooted, and debris of earth, stones and rubble built up in drifts.Trademark chimney heads from the city's tenements littered the streets

Despite the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Low Q, grants were not forthcoming and a mere (pounds) 500,000 was awarded from the Labour government as an

interest-free loan.

More selections from The Herald's picture archives can be viewed and purchased through our website, click on the Decades button.