How Halifax holidaymakers drew on 'Siddal spirit' to face Thailand's worst storm for 30 years

Holidaymakers from Siddal, Halifax,  battled through the eye of the worst Thai storms in 30 years. The gales uprooted trees and tore down buildings, Inset - the pals enjoy calmer times.
Holidaymakers from Siddal, Halifax, battled through the eye of the worst Thai storms in 30 years. The gales uprooted trees and tore down buildings, Inset - the pals enjoy calmer times.

Siddal Holidaymakers caught in the eye of Thailand’s worst storms for 30 years have made their way home after a week-long ordeal.

Two members of the group, nicknamed ‘the Siddal six’ on social media, were able to catch their Wednesday flight back to the UK after they were left stranded on the remote island of Koh Tao for six days.

READ MORE: 'Siddal six' stranded on Thai island amid worst storms for 30 years
All transport routes in and out of the island were cut off by authorities and people were told to board themselves up indoors as winds of up to 50mph uprooted trees and tore fixtures from buildings.

Speaking an hour before the storm’s ‘second wind’ hit, 27-year-old Jade Ditchfield, one of those caught up in the chaos, said:

“When we arrived it was crazy - you couldn’t move for bikes, buses and cars flying around, but it’s a ghost town out there now. It’s creepy. The supermarkets don’t have any food left and the whole island is holed up inside.”

Thousands of people left the island ahead of the initial storm, but with chaos unfolding the Calderdale gang stood firm, heeding advice to board themselves up indoors.

Amy Habergham, 19, who returned home with Jade on Wednesday, said she had never been so frightened.

“It was terrifying,” said the 19-year-old, “there were people screaming and running around on the street outside and everyone was rushing around indoors.

“We were locked in and the hotel staff left, the electric cut out and we were just cut off from the rest of the world. We coudldn’t call anyone or get any information.

“We’d been calm initially because the Thai people explained that they were used to this. When they started shouting we were scared stiff. You could feel the panic set in.

“But we got through it together by drawing on our Siddal spirit.”

After three days trying to get off the island following the storm, the pair left for Bangkok to catch their return flight in the nick of time. The four remaining tourists will be in Thailand until Thursday.

“We were meant to have three days exploring Bangkok and touring around a bit,” Amy said, “it was very scary but I wouldn’t say it ruined our holiday. It’s certainly one we’ll never forget!”