Hailstorm will go down in history

MADAM - The Ottery St Mary hailstorm, with its drifts up to six feet deep, has made county history. Notable hailstorms are on record for parts of the country such as that which smashed 7,000 panes of glass in the Houses of Parliament in London On August 1

MADAM - The Ottery St Mary hailstorm, with its drifts up to six feet deep, has made county history.

Notable hailstorms are on record for parts of the country such as that which smashed 7,000 panes of glass in the Houses of Parliament in London On August 1, 1846, and that which in Essex on June 24, 1897, killed many hens and caused farm labourers to be taken to hospital with injuries.

What. however, of the hailstorms in Devon? The western side of Britain is less prone to hailstorms than the east and thus geographically more direct comparisons with the Ottery St Mary storm are few.

Plymouth bears some comparison. George Symons annual British Rainfall publication details a hailstorm soon after 10am on May 2, 1898. At the bottom of Albert Road hail completely blocked the vehicles as it rose above the level of the axles so that horses had to be removed. It was recorded that between 200 and 300 tons of ice had to be removed and its removal took a large number of men all tHe rest of the day. Flooding accompanied the thaw with the ground temperatures contrasting with the temperature of the hail.

ALASDAIR MACLEAN

22 Holly Bush Lane

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Stourbridge

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