Thunderstorm, 1881

In our November newsletter we included a chronology of bad flooding in Alnwick since the middle of the 18th century. But floods are not the only extreme weather conditions we might experience. For example, here’s the story of an exceptional thuderstorm, in 1881.

Thunderstorm at Alnwick

Yesterday afternoon a thunderstorm of exceptional violence passed over the town of Alnwick. A tall chimney at the old tannery, belonging to Messrs Mason Brothers, brewers, was struck by lightning. The bricks and masonry at the chimney were hurled to a distance of more than 30 feet, and the roofs of adjoining buildings were damaged and one piece of the flying debris struck and severely injured on the head a man named Joseph Dodds, in the employment of Messrs Thew, Turnbull and Thew, who was going past at the time with a loaded wheelbarrow. Portions of the demolished chimney were hurled by the lightning into the yard of Mr J. W. Bowry’s iron foundry on the other side of the lane. There also this same flash of lighting performed some rather unpleasant tricks It knocked down a man named Hopper and overturned some wheel patterns upon him; and it set a crane in motion, which struck another of the workers. Happily neither of them were injured severely.

Newcastle Daily Journal, August 18, 1881

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