Recently we reported that an Environment Agency worker was injured by a big wave on Portland.

Isle historian Stuart Morris got in touch to let us know that, sadly, wasn't the first time someone was injured by a wave on Portland.

Back on December 31 1935 an elderly woman was rescued by her own grandson when a huge wave washed down Big Ope.

The story of the woman's rescue was published in the Southern Times on January 4, 1936.

A giant wave came over the top of Chesil Beach, tore through narrow Portland street Big Ope and swept grandmother Mrs Culverwell off her feet. The sea carried her along the whole length of the street into Chiswell - a distance of 70 yards.

She escaped with just bruises.

When contacted by the Southern Times photographer after the 'unique experience', Mrs Culverwell said: "I'll admit I was a bit scared."

Dorset Echo:

The 70 yard distance Mrs Culverwell was carried down Big Ope by the wave

Mrs Culverwell was rescued by her grandson Gordon Reynolds, the father of Stuart's wife!

In 1967 Gordon wrote about his memories of rescuing 'Gran Culverwell.'

He wrote: "I, who had been born and bred a stone's throw from the water's edge, had grown accustomed to the sights and sounds of the sea in all its moods.

"We all lived in a small street which ran uphill to the topmost ridge of the beach, my grandparents in one cottage, my mother, sister and I in another and next door my mother's twin sister and her family. During the long winter evenings my mother would sit with her sister; they were sometimes joined by grandmother who often would walk to the top of the street three or four times daily just to look at the sea, sometimes for ten or fifteen minutes at a stretch. 'Gran', as we called her, would never explain why she did this; in truth I do not think she really cared as to why, but she knew that something within her found a new strength; that she, in those quiet moments, could renew those great wells of kindliness and courage which made her so loved by us all.

Dorset Echo:

Gordon Reynolds

"And so it was that on this last day of the Old Year my sister and I were alone in our cottage reading by the soft light of the oil lamp and only faintly aware of the ground sea, battering at the shore less than a hundred yards away.

"Suddenly the calm of the room was shattered by a mighty roaring sound, which was quickly followed by the sound of water, falling upon our cottage windows and even upon the roof.

"My sister and I looked at each other, each with the same, unspoken question mirrored in our eyes. We were riot left long in doubt for soon a familiar rushing noise filled the air as a torrent of water, filling our narrow street from side to side, began to rush downhill past our house. "The sea's over the top” I said, but before my sister could reply there came another sound that that struck horror to us both. "Over the rushing, gurgling noises of the flood came a thin, high scream of someone in terrible distress.

"I rushed to the front door and stood at the top of a short flight of steps leading down to the street.

"What I saw there will stay with me for the rest of my life. Our quiet little side street had become a raging torrent, in the blackness; with all familiar landmarks blotted out it was impossible to gauge the depth of the floodwater.

"At the bottom of the lane the pale light of a street lamp threw into eerie relief the rushing waters, and debris that filled the narrow roadway, and right in the middle of that mad welter a round, black object that I recognised at once as the head of someone caught by the flood!

"I jumped into swirling water rushing past our front door; somehow I managed to keep my footing although the waters tore at me in their mad rush down the slope.

"As I floundered through the water in the direction that I had last seen the trapped person a dozen plans were pushing through my mind. I knew that once the water, pent up in our small side street, found their way to the wide main road they would run quickly to my left for about 150 yards and then come to rest in a small dip at another junction. I knew too, that if I let the floodwater carry me and the unknown person to that spot that I was a strong enough swimmer to get us both out of trouble.

"I had now nearly reached the narrowest and lowest part of our little street and if a following sea caught me here I would be in real trouble.

"I could also see in the dim light ahead the black outline of the person caught by the floodwater which, its force now dissipated was no longer whirling its victim along but had almost gently floated the person onto the broad pavement.

"I was now close enough to see that it was a woman who had been caught in that mad rush of water "By now I had drawn level with her and reached out and grasped her shoulders. I still did not recognise her which was no wonder, as her long saturated hair half covered her face and the mud and filth of the flood covered the rest of her.

Dorset Echo:

In the St Valentine's Storm of 2014, water once again came rushing down Big Ope

"I could now stand in the rapidly diminishing water and, as I shifted my grip on her, the light of the street lamp fell upon her and I was looking into the face of my grandmother: The shock of recognition hit me like a blow and the realisation of what had so nearly happened drained my strength, which the buffeting of the flood had only served to increase.

"You're alright now, Gran", I said, as I gently drew her upright, "Its me, Gordon, and I'll soon have you out of this".

"Whilst speaking I instinctively folded my strong young arms about those frail old shoulders, and prayed that the sound of a well known voice and the physical contact with me would reassure her.

Gran", I said "are you alright now':" "Yes", she answered, "I'M alright, but please take me home son." I picked her up in my arms and began the uphill walk to the house, trying all the while to make light of the terrible experience she had undergone and straining every nerve to interpret from the many sounds of the storm the peculiar roar that would herald the approach of another tidal wave.

Dorset Echo:

Water rushing down Big Ope in 2014

"Fortunately one did not come, and so we slowly mounted the steps to grandmother's front door. Once inside that stout barrier and engulfed in the warmth of the big open fire, the terror and the tumult of the past five minutes began rapidly to fade.

"I looked closely at Gran, but aside from being soaking wet and covered with mud she seemed unharmed, indeed I remember noticing that the laughter lines which had crinkled the corners of her eyes for as long as I could remember, were back, as firmly etched as ever."

Gordon Reynolds died aged 96 in 2011. Throughout his long life he remained proud of his Chiswell roots, always describing it as ‘the principal village on Portland.’

He became works' manager at Bottomcombe Quarry on Portland when the post war rebuilding programme was at its peak with cities like Plymouth being restored using large quantities of Portland Stone.

Among the most vivid memories and stories this grand old man of Portland stone and history left behind him was that of the Chiswell floods of 1935.