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UK Weather - past and present

February

Hurricanes in East Riding, February, 1803

The hurricane for the last fortnight on the whole of the East Riding coast of Yorkshire has been more tempestuous and fatal than were ever known. Nothing has been seen along the whole shore, but parts of wrecks of vessels and the dead bodies of unfortunate men who have perished in the storms. The AMERICAN CONSUL, his wife and child, were with great difficulty saved at Bridlington Quay, and were brought on shore nearly naked in an open boat. A black, who attempted to swim to the shore, was dashed to pieces against the rocks. Amongst other singular effects of the late storms, such a quantity of seaweed has been thrown on the shore at Barnston, the estate of Sir Francis BOYNTON, that it is imagined there is 15,000 load of this manure. There are daily to be seen from 50 to 70 carts and waggons carrying it into the country, and it is imagined there will be a quantity sufficient to manure the estate for the two ensuing years. The benefit to the tenants cannot be estimated at less than 1200

1947,Severest winter within living memory

Bell Busk YorksSome of the worst winter weather was recorded in February 1947. Snow fell in the eastern half of England cutting off towns and villages and blocking roads. The L.N.E.R. ran light engines and snowploughs up and down branch lines in East Yorkshire to maintain services, but they were hampered by the fact that the snow was continually drifting. In Sheffield the worry was the supply of fuel and foodstuff, two local Cooperative societies which were the main suppliers for about 60 per cent of the population were rapidly running short of milk after their Derbyshire suppliers failed to deliver over a three day period.

With every man available recruited, the town worked hard to reopen its fuel supply lines in order to prevent the closing down of the heavy steel mills. Officials of some of the larger works said that unless coal supplies could be brought into the city their works would have to close, and unemployment figures would run into thousands.

Hadfield, DerbyshireThe Woodhead tunnel, between Sheffield and Manchester, was blocked by snow, and all movements of coal by this route to the north-west were stopped. Scores of factories throughout the country were closed or put on short time through lack of fuel, and the Ministry of Fuel and Power gave warning that even when the weather improved it would be some time before industrial coal could be moved by either land or sea.

More than 40 Leicestershire villages were isolated, and nearly 200 German prisoners dug their way through snowdrifts to reach the isolated village of Tilton-on-the-Hill.

At some places in Lincolnshire only the tops of telegraph poles could be seen over drifts, and roadside hedges had disappeared. The shortage of food was acute, and it was suggested that if things got worse supplies would have to be dropped in by parachute to outlying farms and hamlets. Boston was virtually isolated.

Approximately 12 inches of snow covered Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

 

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