The community of the Moulton Allotments CIC packed up their tools on Saturday afternoon and left their gardens as pristine and well-tended as ever.
A few hours later, it was all in pieces.
“Our water tanks weigh a ton each when they are full,” said Dr Roger Colby, managing director of the CIC. “Many of them have been shifted. You can imagine the power of the tornado if it could do that.”
Today (July 26), it was all-hands-on-deck at the community gardens to begin clearing away the damage. Gardeners walked along the road asking who had lost a shed – because one had landed in their vegetable patch.
A neighbour from a housing estate arrived on the morning to ask whose greenhouse had been flung into their back garden.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents told the Chronicle & Echo how they found their shed crumpled into pieces, and months of work on crops and plants had been torn up.
Dr Colby told the Chron: “Last night was pretty sickening. First and foremost, I was concerned if anyone had been hurt as some people were here just a few moments before it hit.
“Our first priority this week will be to get a professional clean-up crew to clean up a lot of the rubbish. There could be a lot of nails and glass around ehre and I want to make it as safe as possible.
“But the attitude of the people here today could not be better. They’re doing remarkably well.”
One gardener, Stephen Murray, spoke to the Chron through the open canopy of where his shed roof used to be.
“We needed a new one anyway.
“That empty spot there is where the greenhouse used to be.
“I was up here at 7pm last night and it was like it was today – beautiful and sunny.
“To be honest, I was quite cross when it first happened. But nobody was hurt and it can all be fixed. It’s a good chance to start over really.
“Everyone is mucking in and helping each other.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “At least it didn’t damage anyone’s houses and no one’s been hurt. In a way, I’m glad it went straight through here rather than any of these nearby houses.”