back along - weather comments & reports from a while ago !

120 years ago ...

January 1900

Rainfall in January 1900 ,at Hartland at 323 feet above the sea level, with a guage of 5 inches diameter. Observer, Mr. G. Sleep.

    Total fall : 5.01     Greatest fall in 24 hours : 1.25 on 6th    Days 0.1 or more fell : 18

(from The Hartland Chronicle, 1900)

100 years ago ...

January 1920

RAINFALL, Hartland December 1919
    Total fall: 6.10
    Greatest fall in 24 hrs: 0.82 on 31st
    Days 0.1 or more fell: 26

RAINFALL, Hartland 1919
    Total fall: 34.40
    Greatest fall in 24 hrs: 1.41 Feb. 16th
    Days 0.1 or more fell: 169

RAINFALL, Hartland January 1920
    Total fall: 4.62
    Greatest fall in 24 hrs: 0.64 on 10th
    Days 0.1 or more fell: 27

The Storm on Saturday night, 10th, damaged many roofs. Three more pieces of ceiling were shaken down in the new U.M. chapel, covering rostrum and seats with plaster. Two spots had come down previously, so the services were held in the old chapel, Mr. Trudgeon announced that Wednesday’s effort brought in £51 to the Building Fund. The evening preacher, Mr. Pascoe, did not arrive, owing to the terrible weather. Mr. W. J. Christmas kindly took the service, giving a good sermon on “Put in trust with the gospel,” 1 Thess, II, 4. He voiced the general sympathy with the Vicar in his severe illness and with the family.

The Schooner Augusta Charles wrecked.

Like the loss of the Irish schooner Miss Hunt at Blegberry, Dec. 14th, 1907, with all lives, and the even more tragic Gaonlaze at Peppercombe in 1901 (when one man actually climbed the cliff, only to die in a field, not being discovered till next day), the present shipwreck at Embury Beacon on Jan. 11th was quite unobserved, no signals of distress having been seen in either instance.
   As far as can be gathered, the vessel which was bound from Bordeaux (her home port) with pit-props for Cardiff, had all her sails blown away, and drifted helplessly on the rocks.
  Three of the crew—Joseph Beaulieu, 29, married; Emil Tilly, 17; and Francis -Amirand, 14, took to the boat, which was smashed in the gale that was raging, and they were drowned. Captain Richard Mathier, 44, and Mate Eugene Gautier, 26, remained on board till she struck about 7.45 Sunday night, and got ashore somehow.
  The younger man’s knee was badly injured. They managed to climb part way up the cliff in the dark, but could get no farther.
   In this trying position the unfortunate mariners had perforce to remain. On Monday morning they saw somebody in the distance but were unable to attract attention.
  It is understood they were unconscious when Mr. Amos Cottle found them and brought them in to South Hole before 2 p.m.
  Unable to speak English, and suffering severely from exposure, they could not make the Cottle family understand very much, so after rest and refreshment were taken to Hartland Quay in a trap, arriving there about 6.50 p.m.
  vThey were given warm baths, and Mr. Pennington seems to have reported the matter over the coast communication telephone.
   We in town knew nothing of the wreck until we read of it in Tuesday’s Western Times and Western Morning News.
  Dr. Kay attended the injured knee, and on Wednesday morning both survivors were taken by Mr. Oatway, on behalf of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, to Bideford in Mr. A. Pennington’s car, provided with new clothes and sent on to the French Consul at Cardiff.
   Search parties failed to find anything but the pit-props strewn along the shore.
  Mr. T. Bailey, of Cardiff, wrote that the French Consul there told him that the two survivors safely reached their homes in France. Nothing further had been heard of the three missing men

(from The Hartland and West Country Chronicle,1920)

30 years ago ...

January 1990

Facts and figures about our local weather scene as recorded by Dick and Airlie Needham, at Gawlish Cottage, Hartland.

The wind was between northwest and south-west for the first ten days of the month, strong, with gale force on the 8th, 9th and 10th.
   After that the wind backed through south to easterlies for the rest of the month, the strongest winds blowing between the 15th and the 18th Total sunshine hours recorded was 114, and there were, in fact, only three days without any sun - not bad for the month of November!
  We measured 87 mm of rain , 33 mm of which fell on the 8th.
  The last nine days of the month were completely dry, as were the nine days at the beginning of December- shades of our next drought!

The winds remained easterlies for the first eleven days, light to moderate, became south-westerly for the next two weeks and then back to the east for the end of the month
  They were strong to gale force from the 13th until Christmas Day, with the strongest winds on Christmas Eve. In fact, the weather over the Christmas period was decidedly unpleasant - during the 23rd, 24th and 25th we had southwesterly gales, hail, rain and thunderstorms.
  Sunshine totalled 55 hours and the total rain measured 150 mm (6 inches), the wettest day being the 18th, with well over an inch.

The winds were light and variable for the first few days of the New Year and then on the 6th moved into the westerly sector where they remained until the end of the month.
  Gale force winds occurred on the 15th, after which they stayed strong until the 'big blow' on the 25th.
   On that day we experienced southwesterly, violent storm force 11, with gusts up to 90 mph.
   Further gales followed until the end of the month, with hail and thunder at times.
  Total rainfall was 176 m.m. (about 7 inches), with over 1 inch falling on the 27th.
   There was only one completely dry day during the month.
  Sunshine totalled 57 hours, spread fairly evenly (and thinly) throughout.
  The barometric trace for the 'big blow' on the 25th January showed the barometer fell about 40 millibars in 16 hours

  The winds remained from the westerly sector during the month, with only a few variations, starting off with seven days of severe gale force 9 and storm force 10, with gusts over 60 mph.
   A slight reduction of wind speed then followed, then severe gales on the 11th, with thunder and hail, more strong westerly winds, and even more gales of force 8 to 9 from the 19th to the end of the month, with gusts of over 70 mph on the 27th and 28th.
   Total rainfall was 153 m.m. (about 6 inches) and we had 77 hours of sunshine, with 8 hours on the 18th and 22nd.
   Quite an impressive start to 1990! But always look on the bright side - it can only get better, I hope!

Dick Needham

(from The Hartland Times,1990 January and March, issues 53&54 )