REDCAR – Weekend Gales Damage
Accreditation Cleveland Standard 02/02/1935
CLEVELAND’ SHIVERS IN THE BLAST
Tricks the Wind
Travelling at close to 90 miles per hour, a hurricane of wind swept through Redcar last week-end and did hundreds of pounds worth of damage. It brought with it, hail rain, and snow, and the roar of the gale was intensified by unusual thunder.
All the wildest elements of nature combined to make Redcar wake up on Saturday morning and shudder beneath the icy blast.
People on their way to business had to fight through a blizzard of hail and sleet and sand, many after a restless night, and others after a sleepless night of terror spent in a long vigil, expecting at any moment windows to be blown in, roofs torn off, or chimneys demolished.
In the teeth of the gale, just after mid-day on Saturday, the Redcar lifeboat was launched for the usual monthly practice. Almost at the same time it was leaned that a vessel was in distress and the practice was curtailed so that the lifeboat could keep within signaling distance from the shore.
The crew stood by for a time after their return in case they were needed to go out to the boat the “Louise Rose,” of Liverpool, which signalled for vessels in the neighbourhood to stand by,
Later it was reported that the s.s.”Largo” was standing by near Whitby and that there appeared to be no danger?
Probably one of the most exciting incidents of the gale was the experience which befell a Redcar fisherman who was caught by it in the early hours of Saturday.
It was impossible for him to land his small craft, and, after a long and exciting ordeal in the raging seas he managed to take shelter in the Tees and return to Redcar by bus.
The summer-house in the Mayor of Redcar’s garden was another object on which the wind vented its rage. It blew it down and shifted it bodily, while in the Amusement Park a corrugated iron roof was lifted high in the air and hurled over a seven foot fence.
Throughout Redcar houses with gaping holes in their roofs reveling the rafters, testified to the strength of the gale. Broken chimney stacks provided even stronger testimony , whilst underfoot, even as far behind the town as West Dyke, a thick layer of sand mixed with the hail and sleet.
The gale was one of the fiercest Redcar has experienced for many years. Shops in the High Street and Queen Street suffered the worst havoc, several large plate-glass windows being blown in, sun blinds torn down and ripped to ribbons, and articles of clothing from shops being strewn over the road.
Other property suffered too in the height of the storm many chimney-pots succumbed and slates stripped from the roofs, crashed on the street below. Many pedestrians had narrow escapes from these flying strips of stone.
Fortunately most of the damage was done during the night, when the streets were deserted.
Many of the shopkeepers whose properties were smashed by the hurricane were guests of the official half of the Redcar Master Builders, in the Swan Hotel and, during the latter part of the event dancing was interrupted at intervals by messages warning certain guests that their shop front had been blown in.
Until the first of these announcements the dancers had no knowledge of the blizzard that was raging outside, and when the time came to go home they had a trying experience battling their way through it.
Sand was driven in blinding clouds from the beach forming deep drifts on the Promenade. Side streets became channels up which the sand swirled into the High Street.
CARS “SAND LOGGED”
Parked cars were “sand logged” and people had to leave the hotel in small groups as their cars arrived making a swift dash for the shelter of the vehicles.
The Swan Hotel itself was damaged by the gale. Part of the roof was blown off, numerous windows broken, and signs torn away.
It took the combined strength of two men to shut the swing doors of the hotel opening on to the Promenade.
Saturday, in the light of day, saw Redcar a badly battered town, wilting beneath the cruel blast of the gale which churned the sea to a seething cauldron of mountainous waves.
At Dorman’s Crossing, on the New Trunk Road, two trucks were blown off the line. Redcar’s open-air market was effectively banned the wind being too powerful for the traders to risk erecting their stands and stalls.
Exceptional caution had to be exercised by motor drivers, whilst bus drivers had their responsibility of the safe custody of passengers made all the more intense, and the difficulyy of handling their huge vehicles was far from enviable.
OTHER TRICKS WHICH THE WIND
PLAYED AT REDCAR
Blew over a kiosk near Fleming’s Garage.
Produced a loud low pitched drone as it rushed between the bars of the exit of the pier.
Blew over a bicycle trailer and its driver, and, having done that, rolled it over and across the road, The boy, was unhurt.
Enabled an errand boy to ride his bicycle from Redcar to Kirkleatham without pedaling, using his coat as a sail.
Rained sand all over Redcar.
Overturned a car.
Bent a street lamp on the Promenade.
Caused abnormally high tides.
Snow fell on Sunday and Monday and the weather was bitterly cold at the beginning of the week. After the mildness of the winter so far, the Clerk of the Weather has demonstrated only too well that he has a trick or two up his sleeve before we get the warmth of spring.
June 14, 2010 Weather & Tides