The Weather

The wet weather of recent months has been the subject of much discussion recently, and the floods in many parts of the Country have been very bad. Global warming, space stations in outer space and numerous other theories have been put forward for the big change in our weather pattern, but what has the weather been like over the last 200 years in Bolton, is it only now that we are seeing such great extremes of weather? Let’s take a look: –

1804, 4th May. "At Bolton and its vicinity the people experienced a most dreadful tornado, and it is supposed that a waterspout must have burst, the river Irwell swelled to so great a height as to sweep away many buildings and large quantities of household furniture. At Hulton Park a ball of fire fell with such force as to split in shivers and tear up an ash tree, which had long been admired for its strength and beauty. Several bridges were thrown down.

1839, 7th January. Terrific hurricane in Bolton, great destruction of property.

1852. Rain fell in Bolton on 77 day consecutively (including 12 Sundays), terminating on December 25th. Hurricane on Christmas morning.

1854, 1st – 5th January. Great snow storm, railways and highways blocked up by snow drifts, traffic impeded, works stopped, in some instances the snow reaching to the bedroom windows of dwellings; on the 2nd at 8.30pm the thermometer stood at 20 degrees below the freezing point.

1855. Severe frost from middle of January to beginning of March.

1863, 6th October. Earthquake in Bolton

1863, 3rd December. Violent storm and destruction of property.

1866, 6th & 7th January. Great storm; doubling mill blown down at Daubhill.

1868, 27th December. Terrific gale; the new Baptist chapel, St George’s Road, the new branch schools of St George’s in Mount Street, and a weaving shed at Gate Pike belonging to Messrs R Crompton & Co., partially blown down, damage over £1000.

1869, 1st February. Destructive gale in Bolton, and considerable damage to property.

1869, 15th March. A shock of earthquake felt in Bolton; and other places throughout the north of England.

1870, 16th June. Destructive thunderstorm in Bolton and neighbourhood.

1870, 6th September. Severe thunderstorm in Bolton and neighbourhood; John Morris, travelling pedlar, being frightened to death by it in Little Lever.

1871, 17th March. Shock of earthquake in Bolton and neighbourhood.

1872, 12th July. Destructive thunderstorm in Bolton and the neighbourhood, great floods at Turton, works partially destroyed and about £10,000 damage sustained.

1872, 4th September. Another terrific thunderstorm in Bolton and district; a pleasure party struck by lightning on Turton Moor, one man killed and two other persons seriously injured.

1873, 22nd July. Terrible thunderstorm in Bolton; two lads killed off Cannon Street and great damage to property.

1874, 1st November. Serious floods at Astley Bridge; man drowned.

1876, 26th September. Severe thunderstorm and gale, by which a large amount of damage was done in Bolton.

1877, 15th July. Great floods in Bolton and neighbourhood, several works and dwellings inundated, a bridge and a man washed away near Longworth Mill.

1877, 25th, 26th & 27th December. Heaviest snowfall in Bolton for some years.

I think that I prefer the rain we’ve been having to hurricanes, earthquakes, a tornado, storms and heavy snowfall! Our thanks must go to one of our members who compiled extracts from ‘A chronological history of Bolton to 1878’ by James Clegg from which the above were taken.

By Margaret Koppens