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Restaurant destroyed by flying shingle reopens

A restaurant in Milford-On-Sea that was shattered during the awful weather earlier this year has now reopened after major refurbishment. The seafront restaurant was hit by flying shingle from the beach on Valentine's Day as couples enjoyed romantic dinners.

In acknowledgment of the fateful evening, the new restaurant has been renamed after the evening, as Valentines.

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Windows shattered as shingle hits

The south coast is recovering after gale force winds and heavy rain. Across the region trees were felled, roads blocked, and the battle against flooding went on. Diners at a seafront restaurant in Hampshire had to be rescued when flying debris smashed windows.

Richard Jones spoke to owner Richard Thompson and customer Dave Richley.

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Shingle 'came like bullets' through restaurant windows

Stones "as big as your hand" were thrown by the wind and sea at the Marine beach restaurant in Milford last night.

Colin Tabor from the Coastguard said: "There were stones as big as your hand being catapulted as you can see the damage here is the result of that impact."

Shingle broke through the windows before the waves washed into the restaurant.
Shingle broke through the windows before the waves washed into the restaurant.

Robin Bates of Hampshire Fire and Rescue service said: "I've lived here all my life and I've been in the service now for 30 years. I was in the service when the storm hit in '87 and it was nowhere near as bad as it was here last night.

"The main problem was the shingle, the shingle was coming up just like bullets."

Shingle broke through the windows before the waves washed into the restaurant.
Shingle broke through the windows before the waves washed into the restaurant.
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Seafront restaurant battered by winds and waves

Pebbles smashed the windows before huge waves crashed in to the restaurant.
Pebbles smashed the windows before huge waves crashed in to the restaurant.

More than 30 people were rescued by emergency services and the army from the Marine restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire after wind-blown shingle shattered windows and waves flooded in.

Read more: The clear up begin after storm smashes windows

Cars were left strewn across the seafront after the waves.
Cars were left strewn across the seafront after the waves.
Debris strewn across the seafront after the waves.
Debris strewn across the seafront after the waves.

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Rescue teams describe "horrendous" conditions

Hampshire firefighters helped rescue more than 30 people trapped in a flooded beach cafe in the New Forest overnight as a majortidal surge breached a sea wall.

One firefighter acted fast to get Valentine’s night diners onto the first floor of the building.

Crew Manager Robin Bates said he had never seen the sea conditions of this severity in his career as a firefighter which has included the 1987 storms.

Having got diners upstairs, he worked with the military to get them out of the restaurant in knee high sea water in two groups.

By this time the first floor windows as well as those on the ground floor had been smashed by beach pebbles propelled by a huge storm surge.

The conditions were horrendous last night. I have lived here all my lifeand I have never seen the sea that high or that angry."

– Crew Manager Robin Bates, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
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