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Storm Eunice plus Saturday wet and windy weather affect trains, sport and tourist attractions



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A combination of Friday's Storm Eunice plus heavy rain and further strong winds on Saturday have had an impact on travel, sport and recreation.

As of 3pm (Sat Feb 19) there were still no trains running through Bishop's Stortford, with the arrivals and departure boards showing blanket cancellations of services to London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.

Greater Anglia announced at 1.30pm: "Some routes have now reopened to a limited/reduced service. The advice is still TO NOT TRAVEL & please be aware many other routes will remain closed or suspended until further notice."

A tree fell onto the electric lines above the train track at Castle Park starting a fire. The lines fell down shortly afterwards. The fire service were there making it safe for the public within about 3 mins (54991645)
A tree fell onto the electric lines above the train track at Castle Park starting a fire. The lines fell down shortly afterwards. The fire service were there making it safe for the public within about 3 mins (54991645)

The train operator suspended services on Friday afternoon as a result of numerous damage incidents across its network. These included one in which fire broke out when a tree fell onto electric lines over the railway track at Castle Park in Bishop's Stortford.

In football, second-placed Bishop's Stortford's top-of-the-table match at home to leaders Worthing in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division was called off just over an hour before the 3pm kick-off.

The club announced: "Unfortunately the match referee has deemed the pitch unplayable and today’s fixture has been postponed.

An upended players' dugout at Bishop's Stortford Swifts FC's ground at Silver Leys (54995873)
An upended players' dugout at Bishop's Stortford Swifts FC's ground at Silver Leys (54995873)

"Both teams were keen to play and the pitch was fine until after midday, but the heavy downpour since means we will have to try again another day."

Blues were expecting their biggest crowd of the season – possibly into four figures – as six coachloads of Worthing fans were expected. On Twitter, Toby Ward said: "The fact this wasn’t called off yesterday or this morning is a joke."

Bishop's Stortford Swifts FC's home match at Silver Leys against Hutton in the Essex Olympian League was also postponed shortly before 2pm.

The club said: "Due to the health and safety of the players and officials today's 'game 'has been postponed. #StormEunice decided to uproot one of the dugouts, leaving shards of plastic and metal imbedded in the pitch."

Shards of glass recovered from the Swifts' pitch at Silver Leys (54995875)
Shards of glass recovered from the Swifts' pitch at Silver Leys (54995875)

Bishop's Stortford Golf Club lost just over a dozen trees during Storm Eunice.

It said on Twitter: "13 medium-size trees down in the storm yesterday. Some old and rotting, some nice ones too (one of the small red trees on 13 is gone). On the whole we were lucky."

Both Audley End House and Gardens, near Saffron Walden, and Hatfield Forest at Takeley reopened on Saturday after being closed on Friday.

One of the 13 trees that fell at Bishop's Stortford Golf Club on Friday during Storm Eunice (54995871)
One of the 13 trees that fell at Bishop's Stortford Golf Club on Friday during Storm Eunice (54995871)

READ ALSO Storm Eunice in pictures: Trees toppled, brick walls blown over, fences flattened and sheds shredded in Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Stansted

An announcement on the National Trust's 1,000-acre former medieval hunting forest said: "We are back open welcoming pre-booked tickets after Storm Eunice. However, please take note of any warning signs still up as we complete our post-storm survey in the wider forest."

In the wetter months of winter, to protect the forest and allow the ground to recover from a busy summer season, parking is limited to hardstanding areas and pre-booking is essential at weekends and school holidays.

Easton Lodge (54882351)
Easton Lodge (54882351)

The Gardens of Easton Lodge – the idyllic, Historic England grade II registered attraction at Little Easton, near Great Dunmow – has cancelled its open day on Sunday (Feb 20) – the third of its four scheduled snowdrop specials.

It said on Saturday: "The gardens will not be open tomorrow, but with fingers crossed for better weather, our Thursday snowdrop day will still take place next week. Do come and see us."

Thursday's session runs from 11am to 3pm. Admission is £4.50. Children go free. For more information about the gardens, which have been partially restored to their former glory by a team of dedicated volunteers and the owners of Warwick House, visit www.eastonlodge.co.uk.

The wet and windy conditions are forecast to continue throughout the weekend and into next week.
Essex Weather Centre said there would be heavy rain and strong winds during Saturday afternoon (gusts up to 45mph), wind and rain on Sunday evening wind (gusts to 50mph) and windy but mainly dry on Monday (gusts to 55mph).



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