Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


1870s Weather in The Fylde

Newspaper reports from 1870 & 1873.


BLACKPOOL, Saturday night. - A storm, unparalleled at this season of the year, set in last night with great fury, the result being lunch destruction of all kinds of property. The tide was at its height here at about 11-45 last night but two hours before that time the sea, driven inwards by a most violent gale from the west, ran furiously along the coast, and in many places swept over its ordinary boundaries. At noon to-day the water washed fiercely over the new promenade, but it was nothing in comparison with last night's work. For above a mile along the beach, below the new pier, the scene is one of inundation and wreck.

At the Fox Hall Hotel walls are thrown down, iron railings and seats have been overturned, and gardens have been flooded. Several houses hereabout have their doors and windows “barricaded" to keep off the water. Just beyond the hotel named there is a wide open space; in stormy weather much havoc is generally done here; and the storm just experienced has been no exception to that rule. In this quarter a long wall has been flattened to the ground by the water; farther back a small wooden shop, for the sale of sweets, cigars, &c., has been turned completely wrong side up, with all its contents; whilst beyond this there is a more desolating scene—a large grain field, with its grain cut and ready for gathering, destroyed. The sheaves of grain are scattered in all directions, driven against the embankment of the Coast Railway, spread all along the top of the railway, and floated for more than a mile beyond it.

The new gas-works to the left have been damaged with the water which swept over the ground here in one overwhelming torrent. A portion of the railway fencing is broken down, and in two parts the railway embankment has been entirely swept away. The rails fastened together with screws hang over the breaches with the sleepers fastened to them in a strange skeleton-like fashion. In other parts where the embankment has not been damaged, the sleepers have been bared and undermined. Huge pipes, bored through the railway for carrying off flooding water, were torn asunder and scattered in a field on the .other side of the line.

Many acres of potatoes in this quarter have been swamped. The houses westward, fronting the sea, have a very desolate and semi-ruined appearance. The water at 12 last night rose in some of them several feet. Pigs and poultry belonging to some of the tenants have been drowned. The back yard walls have been blown down and washed down with great force; and the roads are ploughed up in some places.

Along the entire front of the houses on South Shore below the Manchester Hotel, nothing but confusion and wreck and ruin appears—gate posts torn down, walls flattened, gardens filled with stones in some cases and dashed to pieces in others, flags and beautiful little walks destroyed, iron seats thrown over, balustrades dashed about, and gates floated from their hinges—these are the sights which meet the eye of the spectator. In some oases the little front gardens for six or seven lengths together have been riven up by the water, and in nearly all the wreckage of the flood is painfully conspicuous. Men are busily engaged repairing the railway.

The promenade and its breastwork have stood the storm well. In about a dozen places stones several yards in extent have been torn up and washed away, but the damage is not much, and will soon be repaired. The two piers have not been effected in the least by the storm. Bathing-vans and boats, making zip a curious picture, are planted along the promenade, clear away from the water —in a few cases they are removed into back streets—so as to avoid the fury of the waters.

At Lytham, a few miles south-west of Blackpool, the storm last night was very furious—trees were blown down, boats were dashed about and the Coast Railway was swamped in one part. Along the coast, above Blackpool, up to Fleetwood the water last night rode over its boundaries, and created considerable alarm, but it was by no means so terrific in its force as at Blackpool. In and about Blackpool several building: have been damaged by the wind, and some have been partially blown down. At eleven o'clock to-night there ii a calm but the shore inhabitants are on the alert, for the tide will be high again at midnight.

Newspaper report on a storm in September 1870.


Tuesday evening there was a most extraordinary storm at Lytham. The day had been most excessively hot with a little wind from south-east. Towards six o'clock a very heavy band of clouds came up from the west and south-west, and thunder rumbled in the distance.

The sky became gradually more overcast, the wind veered suddenly to north, then to south, then again to west and in an instant a very heavy squall carried up clouds of sand and filled the air as though it had been a fog.

This extraordinary sand storm continued for about twenty minutes, the air being loaded with sand and dust, driven by a gale wind, whilst, on the distant clouds, brilliant flashes of forked lightning darted across all parts of the western heavens, presenting altogether an extraordinary spectacle.

For a long time afterwards there was distant thunder, evidently very heavy both south and east of Lytham. During the whole phenomenon there were some of the most extraordinary formations of cloud that is possible to imagine — at times very awfully grand.—Lytham Times.

 Edinburgh Evening News - Friday 25 July 1873 p.3


The long-continued dry weather is creating a considerable uneasiness among the agriculturists of the Fylde district of Lancashire. On Sunday last the prayer for rain was read in a church at Lytham.

 Edinburgh Evening News - Friday 19 June 1874