By Michael Giles
PREDICTABLY, the famous landmark up on top of the hill, along Loch-Wonthaggi Road, at Ryanston is no more.
Storm force winds, gusting up to and beyond 100km/h on Wednesday night have reduced the ‘Windy Hill’ shed to a tangled mess, damaging cars, machinery and other goods inside.
But adding insult to injury, early on Thursday morning were passers-by stopping to steal equipment from the damaged shed which used to sit close to the roadside.
It’s located only 15 metres from the house where a family of four was recovering from the storm.
An exasperated Petrina Linklater told the Sentinel-Times today, she simply couldn’t believe the callous nature of some people.
“And you can tell them to stop stealing our stuff out of my shed,” Ms Linklater said today.
“They started stopping at the shed from 7am on Thursday morning stealing stuff. It’s just too much.”
The thieving came after a fearful night on top of the hill at Ryanston with the only casualty being the old ‘Windy Hill’ shed, so called for the good-natured sign painted on the wall of the shed for many years.
Some other local of long-standing might be able to confirm this, but the original owner was apparently an Essendon supporter, but either way, everyone knows the shed, and the sign.
“The wind was really roaring, beyond roaring really,” said Petrina.
“I actually called the SES at one stage because I thought our roof was going to go but it was only the boards on the verandah.
“The wind was coming on a different angle to what we usually get and it blew in the roller door, then the shed basically blew up from inside out.
“One whole piece of the wall was lifted 8 feet over the trees and landed 100 metres away in the neighbours paddock. It must have been some wind to lift up something as heavy as that.
“But the shed is really the only thing that’s been affected. We’ve got a boat and a trainer with a hay bale on it over near the house and it hasn’t moved. Even the trampoline is still sitting there and they’re usually the first to go.
“It must have been the angle of the wind.
“But the hill is completely destroyed. It’s only being held up by one cross beam and it’s too dangerous to go in there at the moment.
“We’ve had to take out what we can because of the thieving but the rest will have to wait.”
Ms Linklater said the wind was so strong at one stage, it took two people to close the front door.
“I had to put the dead lock on it just to keep it closed and despite having towels under the door, the rain still blew in a metre down the hall.
“It was some sort of storm.”
But, never fear, the shed will be rebuilt and the ironic ‘Windy Hill’ sign will be re-erected.
“We’ll use the existing corrugated iron with the painted sign on it, or do another one, but it will go back up again. Everyone knows it,” said Petrina.
The sign, when it does go back, will have a new story to tell… about the one-in-a-100 storm of June 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic!