THIS week’s trip down memory lane takes us back to 2012 – when the new year blew in with gale-force winds and flooding which caused chaos across Inverclyde.

Gusts in excess of 70mph battered the area and resulted in widespread disruption and damage as people returned to work following the festive period.

Containers at Greenock Ocean Terminal were toppled amid the blustery conditions and left scattered across the site.

Greenock Telegraph:

In Gourock, Cove Road was closed as sandbags were put down and part of Greenock’s Esplanade was left submerged.

Police were inundated with 999 calls, with Sergeant Ian Wood saying: “It is horrendous out there. We are dealing with about 40 different incidents, all weather-related.”

Greenock crew commander George McCready added: “It is very dangerous and it is predicted there could be winds of up to 90mph.

“I would recommend a day for staying at home and advise against any unnecessary journeys.”

Meanwhile, a Greenock couple were celebrating 60 happy years of marriage.

John and Anne McNeil told how they'd met at the Berkeley Ballroom in Glasgow in 1950 and married just over a year later.

Greenock Telegraph:

The keen dancers had competed against each other in their younger days, but in later life were happy to practice their moves together at the 175 Club and Larkfield Masonic Association.

Anne told the Tele: “We still enjoy dancing, but we have had to slow down a bit.”

The couple received a special card from Queen Elizabeth II to mark the anniversary.

Romance was also in the air elsewhere in Inverclyde, with a Port Glasgow man marrying his first love after he reconnected with her on Facebook 40 years down the line.

Hugh Forsythe, 60, contacted his teenage sweetheart Maureen Wallace – from Troon – on the social media site.

Greenock Telegraph:

After a whirlwind romance, they wed at Ayr Registry Office shortly before Christmas.

The pair had both been married to other people for several years in the decades they were apart.

Hugh spent 36 happy years married to Anne – with whom he had three children prior to her passing in 2009.

He told the Tele: “I was in a dark hole, just looking at the four walls. Then I saw the light.

“I always thought about Maureen every time I was in Troon and I decided to contact her.”

Hugh and Maureen arranged a get-together in the dance hall where they first met.

In other news, Greenock and Inverclyde’s MSP was urging the Scottish Government to help the area’s bid for green jobs by using Inchgreen dry dock as a manufacturing base for renewables.

Greenock Telegraph:

Duncan McNeil, who had long championed the drydock for such a purpose, quizzed enterprise minster Fergus Ewing over the possible plans.

Mr McNeil said: “With unemployment increasing all over Scotland, we need to play to our strengths in Inverclyde and make the case for investment in our area.

“We have the skills and the infrastructure to play our part in the renewables industry, but we will need support if we are to make it happen.”

In sport, Morton rung in the new year in style by defeating Ayr United 3-1 to secure back-to-back league wins – and their first three points at Cappielow in over three months.

Greenock Telegraph:

Allan Moore’s side were forced to mount a comeback after Michael Moffat fired the visitors to an early lead.

David O’Brien sparked the comeback one minute before the break, with Archie Campbell adding a second in the 64th minute.

Substitute Paul Di Giacomo rammed home in the dying seconds to wrap up the victory.