The Piccadilly Tornado


The Piccadilly Tornado

Scene of central London's most destructive tornado!

Location: 12 Sherwood Street, Piccadilly, London, W1F 7BR

Description: In 1905 the infamous St James Hall was demolished here and renowned architect Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912) designed the facade for the then new Piccadilly Hotel - his last major project.

A report from the Times said of a weather phenomenon: On October 22nd 1926 at about 8.15pm, in pouring rain, a fearsome gust of wind ripped through the capital from Victoria to Euston station. The areas around Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus were especially badly hit. The roof was lifted off a labour exchange in Great Marlborough Street, narrowly missing one man walking by. There was a terrific crash behind me and I just escaped being crushed by a great mass of debris, Mr Maurice Kaizer told The Times. Amazingly no one was seriously injured or killed, although people were swept off their feet and a taxi was blown several yards down a road.

Shop windows were forced in, electric signs, blinds, chimney pots and huge pieces of masonry of all kinds and projecting portions of buildings were swept away by the gale, reported The Times.

There was pandemonium at The Piccadilly Hotel, where the front doors were blown up by the tornados blast. The wind howled down the lobby and the next thing there was general confusion, said a spokesman for the hotel. The tables at which people had been dining were swept clear of linen, plates and food. Carpets blew up from the floor, and the winds rushed down the chimneys bringing with it a cloud of soot. People were smothered in soot and food.

Themes: DisasterDisaster Theme  QuirkyQuirky Theme
The Piccadilly Tornado

Scene of central London's most destructive tornado!

Ranking This Month: 1710/2849

Pages Hit This Month: 21


Other places nearby:


House of Reeves», 9.5km

The Fatal Vespers», 1.4km

Site of huge gunpowder explosion», 2.3km

1867 Ice Skating Disaster», 1.5km

Scene of Great Tooley St Fire», 2.2km

Edgware Gas Explosion», 9.4km

The Great Fire of London», 1.9km

Green Jackets Bandstand bomb», 1.4km

The Princess Alice Disaster», 9.6km

Balham Tube Bomb», 4.6km

Location Pinpointed: