A tornado left a trail of destruction in its wake after tearing through a farm in Great Dalby.
While some villagers only saw rain and hale on Monday it was a different story at Vine Farm, on the Ashby Folville road, which was battered by the tornado.
Roof panels on a cow shed were ripped off, trees and bushes were uprooted, with one tree snapped in half at the trunk by the force of the tornado, a 15ft metal sheeted door was lifted clean off its hinges before landing on the floor, a cattle trailer was nearly blown into a ditch and branches and other swirling debris could be seen all around.
Richard Mann, a partner at the dairy farm, was luckily inside a tractor cab when the tornado struck while herdsman Jack Gascoigne had to run for cover.
Richard said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it. All of a sudden the wind picked up from nowhere. We had no idea what it was at the time but it was quite frightening when we realised it wasn’t just a wind coming through.
“Anything not tied down started lifting up, including the roof panels and a 15ft metal sheeted door which was lifted clean off its hinges before landing flat on the floor. There were some cars in the yard but luckily it didn’t land on them.
“The tornado was quite fierce for a good two or three minutes before it died down. I don’t really know which direction it came from. I heard it might have started in Northampton. Where it went after hitting us I don’t know.”
Jack added: “We were just doing yard work when the air pressure started to change and leaves started coming off the trees and bushes. Within a few seconds everything started swirling around. It was happening all around us but I managed to run to the shed to take cover. As fast as the tornado came it had gone past us.”
Richard’s friend and fellow farmer John Morris filmed the swirling tornado on his mobile phone. Mr Morris, who lives in Lowesby, spotted it coming out of the sky as he was heading home from Melton. He pulled in at Melton Airfield and filmed it, with his footage since being featured on BBC East Midlands Today and gaining nearly 50,000 views.
He said: “I just saw it coming out of nowhere. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve had storm chasers sending me messages on Facebook saying they’ve travelled the world to see tornados but they’d never seen one in England.”
Some youngsters at Great Dalby Primary School were outside playing netball when they saw the tornado coming towards them.
The school’s administration manager Louise Allen said: “One of the children shouted ‘it’s a tornado’ and they all came inside. It went really black when it came past us but we didn’t get any damage to the school.”