Worst Storm For Hundreds Of Years



Extreme weather is a new phenomenon isn’t it?


In January of 1953, unusual weather conditions caused Britain’s worst national peacetime disaster of the 20th century. A storm surge flooded the eastern coast of England, killing more than 300 people and leaving thousands homeless. Fifty years later, ‘Timewatch’ re-examines a calamity which is largely forgotten today.



The 1953 storm, according to Ewen McCallum from the Met Office, is:

‘A very natural event…a typical winter storm…the Pole in the Northern latitude is very cold and there’s still some very warm tropical air further south and when the two air streams come together we get a tremendous energy bang…it’s  nature’s way of trying to equalise out the heat ….a very natural event, a very powerful event.’



And if you think it’s just a 20th Century occurrence possibly linked to global warming think again:

The (1st) Grote Mandrenke was a massive southwesterly Atlantic gale (see also European windstorm) which swept across England, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Schleswig around 16 January 1362, causing at minimum 25,000 deaths.





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24 Responses to Worst Storm For Hundreds Of Years

  1. ember2013 says:


    Certainly Dimbleby was around then.


  2. feargal the cat says:

    Slightly OT: Seen elsewhere; Scotland’s coast is being battered, is there nothing they won’t deep-fry?


  3. JimS says:

    BBC disconnect by David Shukman on Radio 4 6pm news (17:30 minutes in): As the UK population increases demand for building land will increase and the people on that land may be at risk if climate change is a reality and it leads to ‘extreme weather’.
    So shouldn’t the BBC be following their beloved ‘precautionary principle’ and pushing for outgoing ‘migration’ to minimise the risk?


    • Pounce says:

      I’ve just watched the news where the bBC took us on a boat ride to the village of Muchelney in the Somerset Levels. which has been cut off. Not once did the bBC mention the fact that the village is built in the middle of Marsh land which has been flooding since time began. Here’s what British history online has to say about the village:
      The parish of Muchelney, lying on loam above clay and gravel between the converging rivers Yeo and Parrett, 1½ mile SSE. of Langport, is just over 2 miles from north to south and 1¾ mile from east to west, and measured 1,591 a. in 1901. The extreme north-western boundary falls short of the confluence of the two rivers, but follows an irregular watercourse known in the Middle Ages as Horsies Pyll and Oldryver, (fn. 2) evidently the original line of one of the two rivers which later changed its course in time of flood. Part of the southern boundary of the parish also follows a stream known as Oldriver brook, indicating a change in the course of the Parrett.

      Much of the land between the Yeo and the Parrett, constituting the extreme north-western part of the Saxon royal estate of Martock, lies below the 25 ft. contour. Settlements developed on some of the ‘islands’ of slightly higher ground rising from the marsh, three of which, Muchelney (Great Island), Midelney, and Thorney, were named by the 11th century. Midelney later became part of Drayton parish, itself once a dependency of Muchelney, though in 1569 the churchwardens of Muchelney still claimed that its people should not attend Drayton church. Horsey, in the north of the parish, was a medieval farm site, but other ‘islands’ including Nidney or Netney (Litney or Littleney in the later Middle Ages) and Ilsey, both in Thorney moor, and the Down, north-east of the church, were cultivated but not occupied. Only in times of flood were all these ‘islands’ apparent, but flooding was frequent and Muchelney itself was often known as an island rather than as a parish until the 17th century.Permanent settlement probably resulted from the foundation of the abbey early in the 8th century. The position of Muchelney, Thorney, and Ham, and of the site of the abbey was governed by their relative immunity from flooding.
      So in a nutshell, the area around the village floods every year. (Doesn’t help that the village is surrounded on 3 sides by rivers) which kind of explains why everybody is so calm about it and why they have a boat service which brings in supplies, when the water is too high for the tractor service they usually use.

      Yet that didn’t stop the bbC’s reporter from trying to report the viewpoint that this is unprecedented . (Another idiot tried to blame it on global change. yeah right, why did the place flood during the Roman times and even before?

      The bBC, the scaremongers within our midst


      • Phil Ford says:

        Thank you, Pounce, for following-up that egregious BBC report with some genuine research and context.

        Of course, the historical facts didn’t stop the BBC reporter-droid from wheeling out the now-obligatory local (aka ‘useful idiot’) to recite the necessary ‘ I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen anything like it’ line to camera. You see that one all the time now. Gotta stay on-message, people.

        The BBC: half the story, all of the time.


        • Andy S. says:

          Read any book about the “Black Death” in England in the 1350s and you will be informed that the country was also suffering from extreme storms and flooding over a number of years, especially in East Anglia and the West Country. Some towns actually disappeared under incoming sea water.

          One thing the authorities in this country did well in the 14th century was keeping records of just about everything that happened in their parishes.

          What Al Gore may describe as an “inconvenient truth”.


      • Pounce says:

        In 1986 the bBC redid the doomsday book here is what they had to say about the village of Muchelney 28 years ago:
        “Muchelney is a small village south of
        Langport_the name means ‘The Great
        Island’.At one time the whole
        neighbourhood was marshland with only
        one or two areas above flood level.
        Many of the fields are only 25 feet
        above sea level and before the pumping
        stations were built it was quite usual
        for Muchelney to be cut off for long
        periods during the winter.”


        and here is another account:
        This area lies in what is often
        described as ‘The Heart of
        Somerset’. The land lies at only a
        few feet above sea level and is
        typical of the Somerset Levels. It is
        drained by the River Parrett which
        flows through the grid from South to
        North, and an intricate network of
        drainage ditches , locally called
        rhynes. Houses are confined to the
        higher ground where frequent winter
        flooding can be avoided. The villages
        of Drayton and Muchelney (The Great
        Island) and the hamlets of
        Midelney(Middle Island) and Muchelney
        Ham,are the main centres of


        and here is a wee map which says so much:


      • Span Ows says:

        Nice one pounce. I have a family connection with Muchelney going back 100s of years. The whole area west and north as far as Bridgewater and even Wedmore the other side of the A39 is a patchwork of small ducts and drainage ditches (just look close up on google maps, looks like a blue patchwork quilt). In fact if you drive from Street to the M5 most of the way the road is high up on a ridge between flood plains and you can clearly see what would be the ‘islands’ before the levels were drained.


  4. deception says:

    Photosynthesis, condensation, jet streams, all phenomenon. The same phenomenons the phenomenon of the ionosphere, seems to have an effect on. And the phenomenon of the burning ball of fire that centers the solar system.


  5. AsISeeIt says:

    …..the worst I’ve ever seen! I’ve known it all my life and this Christmas was definitely the absolute worst I’ve seen.

    BBC TV schedules I mean. Oh the weather – that was pretty usual for Britain in December.


  6. Trefor Jones says:

    Surely, the lesson from the 1953 disaster is that on the whole the sea defences nowadays are on the whole working well.


  7. Trefor Jones says:

    Apologies seems that “on the wholes” are not working so well.


  8. ember2013 says:

    It’s a win-win situation for the BBC.

    Over the last month they have focussed heavily on the weather, seeding the idea that it’s the worst ever (thus making it easier to slip the phrase: ‘due to climate change’ into various reports).

    Today they have been focussing on flood defences and coalition budget cuts.

    It’s a win-win for the BBC.


    • johnnythefish says:

      There’s also a very craftily-devised win-win for unelected environmentalists who have been instrumental in stopping the clearance of drainage ditches and the dredging of rivers in order to protect flora and fauna in all their wonderful diversity.

      Result: said ditches and rivers overflow causing floods which self same environmentalists then blame on ‘climate change’.

      You really, really couldn’t make it up.


  9. John Standley says:

    A ever, the bbc like to point out that such events are “the worst in 200 years” as if to emphasise the severity of the recent event as evidence of MMGW.
    They fail to ask what caused the hitherto record-breaking event 200 years ago which predated “MMGW”.


    • Phil Ford says:

      “…They fail to ask what caused the hitherto record-breaking event 200 years ago which predated “MMGW”.”

      Well, that’s easy to answer: in the ‘olden days’ the British Isles had something called ‘the weather’. Nowadays considered a rather quaint, antique concept, ‘the weather’ was what produced all those well-documented floods, storms and droughts of olde.

      As far as the BBC is concerned, what we now have is no longer to be considered as ‘the weather’. Any climatic conditions post-dating 1990 (the founding year of the CAGW project in earnest) are, by default (and by order of The Holy Consensus), to be referred to – always and until further instruction – as ‘weather events’, ‘extreme weather’ or, god help us all, ‘weather change’.

      ‘The weather’ per se, no longer exists. It doesn’t serve the narrative so it must be erased from the vocabulary and replaced with any one of the new key phrases. The BBC is on a political mission to reinvent what the British people must consider ‘the weather’. Deviation from this agreed course will not be tolerated and all dissent will be ignored – all in the interests of ‘due impartiality’.


  10. stuart says:

    the global warming fanatics are so dumb or they think we are even dumber that they are even blaming this polar vortex in the states on global warming and climate change,how much more do with have to put up with this propaganda mainly been spread on the bbc radio 4 an radio 5 live,yes 100s of years ago people died in there 1000s from floods and storms,i cant recall any scientists of the day blaming that on global warming and climate change.


  11. GCooper says:

    No mention of 1963, I notice: a winter of almost unbelievable amounts of snow in the UK. And then there was ’47…. even worse!

    Short memories, the hegemony of AGW-obsessed activists combined with the huge over-representation of inexperienced youth at the BBC mean we have a national broadcaster incapable of accuracy or perspective in its reporting of events.


  12. Richard Pinder says:

    Well, with what is known, it is possible to guess.

    The sea temperature lags any change in temperature trends, so if the Earth’s Cloud Albedo is increasing due to the length of the last solar cycle, there would be an increase in temperature contrast between the trend towards an ice age and the sea temperature, this temperature contrast could power more extreme weather.

    So weather trends could follow an increase or decrease in the rate of climate change, whether this was caused by Global Warming or as the currant evidence suggests, by Global Cooling.


  13. Scrappydoo says:

    Only those on the climate change gravy train believe a word of it.



    • Span Ows says:

      Indeed: “On the evening of 28 December 1879, a violent storm (10 to 11 on the Beaufort Scale) was blowing virtually at right angles to the bridge… Witnesses said the storm was as bad as any they had seen in the 20–30 years they had lived in the area.”

      So recurring violent storm every few decades, centuries ago. Now of course it’s all AGW


  14. Span Ows says:

    “Weather porn”, much needed phrase (not mine) that suits current news programmes.