WHEN it happened, it was considered modern Scotland’s worst natural disaster.

This week marks the anniversary of the 1968 Hurricane Low Q, a devastating storm which left 21 people dead and thousands homeless.

Winds of more than 100 mph caused havoc in Glasgow and across Scotland, with every front page of the country’s newspapers devoted to telling the tragic story.

The Evening Times of January 14, 1968, described it as a night of terror. Those who died in the city included two mothers and their daughters in Partick, killed when the chimney head from an adjoining building crashed through the roof of their home.

Falling chimneys and masonry also caused the deaths of many more Glaswegians including a five-year-old girl in Cranstonhill and a pregnant woman in Maryhill, Janet Kua.

Glasgow Times:

The Malaysian-born nurse and her husband were asleep in their ground floor bedroom when stonework crashed through the roof and three flats above them. Her husband escaped serious injury when the masonry missed him by inches.

On John Knox Street, a woman and a child were seriously injured when part of a building collapsed.

The reports contained details of astonishing rescues and bravery from ordinary citizens and the emergency services.

In a spectacular rescue, Glasgow fire crews saved nine people trapped in a crumbling tenement on Garscube Road after the internal stairs collapsed. Around 4am, the chimney crashed through the skylight roof and took the stairway with it, said the Evening Times.

“The terrified families wakened by the noise found they were prisoners,” continued the report. “They opened windows and shouted for help.

“Fireman got them out by operating their extending ladder up to the first, second and then third floors.”

Four children were trapped in their bedroom when a chimney head crashed through a tenement on Eglinton Street. Their mother was unable to reach them, as the door was blocked by masonry.

Glasgow Times:

“Police smashed in the door and rescued the children from the debris,” said our reporter.

Two police officers on patrol duty risked their own lives to rescue Morag Robertson and her 18-month-old daughter buried under rubble when they were dragged through tons of falling masonry from the flat above.

“Mrs Robertson’s husband…managed to claw his way out and covered with soot and grime helped rescue his wife and daughter,” reported the Evening Times.

Fire crews used turntable ladders to rescue four families from the second and third floors of a tenement in Partick.

They had become trapped when the stairway between the first and second floors collapsed.

At Ibrox stadium, much of the roof of the new enclosure under construction was ripped off in the storm and a similar story was told at Parkhead where the enclosure roof at the Janefield Street end of the ground blew off.

Glasgow Times:

Three men died when a dredger, the Cessnock, capsized off Greenock.

The town was described as a battlefield. Garages and cars had been lifted by the unstoppable gusts of wind and deposited elsewhere. Between 2000 and 3000 local houses were seriously damaged.

In Renfrewshire, trees blocked roads and calls for help flooded in. Lanarkshire and Ayrshire were also badly hit.

The Evening Times reported: “A police spokesman summed up the city’s night of terror when he said, ‘It was like the Blitz. It’s the worst storm we have ever known.”

*Do you remember the 1968 storm? Get in touch to share your story.