Emsworth Weather: Storms, Tides, Floods and Winds.


Vice Chairman Dr Margaret Rogers viewing the display

After many weeks of unrelenting heat, the Museum's latest exhibition was a forthright reminder of the unpredictability and severity of our weather. "Emsworth Weather" was a display of large black-and-white photographs showing all too clearly how our little stretch of coastline has suffered during extreme weather conditions since the late nineteenth century.weather3

Mr. Bernie Gudge brought together many photographs from the archives and from personal collections, beginning with pictures from January 1881 and ending with some from 1989. There are also some eyewitness accounts from newspapers and diaries which emphasise the impact of the photographs. How many of us knew, for example, that in February 1890 the temperature fell to -20 degrees Celsius for four weeks? Or that the Hermitage flooded regularly in the 1920s, thirties and forties? Then there was the storm in the autumn of 1935 when large fishing boats were washed ashore and badly damaged.

Does anyone remember the winter of 1962-3 when the Harbour and the Millpond froze over? And Mr.Gudge himself gives a graphic account of the damage done by the Great Storm of 1987.

But there were some lighter moments - there were photos of schoolchildren playing in the snow and having snowball fights. Kids in those days were made of sterner stuff - the accompanying description pointed out that although the school heating system often failed, the school remained open!!

Report: Libby