We're not delving back quite so far into the archives this week.

This trip to the 1980s remembers when strong winds brought down a wall in Bridport's Folly Mill Lane.

Ferocious winds on a Saturday morning in January 1984 were to blame for the collapse of a 40-foot gable end, dating from 1901, causing it to crash onto the road below.

Artist Keith Cast, who had evacuated his nearby wallpaper shop and art gallery just 21 hours before the collapse, was reported saying: "It was a miracle no-one was hurt or even killed."

Dorset Echo: Newbridge Boats, one of the businesses affectedNewbridge Boats, one of the businesses affected (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Cast had raised concerns on Friday afternoon after hearing a loud bang following two strong gusts of wind. He contacted the owners of the property, brewers J. C. and R. H. Palmer Ltd, after noticing a standpipe coming away from the side wall. Westerly winds were being sucked into the cavity wall, creating a vacuum and pushing out the brickwork on the gable.

The weather worsened overnight and at 9.15am on Saturday, more than 6,000 bricks fell on to Folly Mill Lane, smashing a ground floor window of Mr Cast's shop. The adjoining record store and nearby Co-op were also affected.

The collapse disrupted traffic and business in the South Street area for more than three days, while Folly Mill Lane was set to remain closed for several weeks while rebuilding work was undertaken.

Dorset Echo: The Bridport News reported the weather event on its front page in January 1984The Bridport News reported the weather event on its front page in January 1984 (Image: Newsquest)

Harold Puley, Palmer's building surveyor, called in scaffolders to stabilise the remainder of the building and supervised the evacuation of the area.

He said: "Safety of the public, safety of the men working on the job, and safety of the building were my priorities. It was a dangerous situation: the general public did not realise the danger that was there. People were walking through the bricks within 10 minutes of the wall falling down."

Mr Puley was said to be inspecting iron wall ties linking the two leaves of brickwork together to see if corrosion could have contributed towards the collapse. He discounted theories that the type of brick used may have been to blame.

Mr Cast re-opened his shop on Wednesday, but the road closure continued to hit several businesses, including the firm of Newbridge Boats.

The company was already experiencing problems with equipment being transported back from the International Boat Show at Earl's Court; it was therefore suggested that special concessions would be made to allow long lorries through Folly Mill Lane before it opened to the public.