Posted 21 January 2012 - 17:06
The last Diamond Jubilee year, 1897, saw one of the most fierce hailstorms on record in the UK on midsummers day........in Essex the storm was comparable to the great storm on 26 May 1985
From the Kelvedon Hatch Parish Magazine.
The Great Hailstorm
On Midsummer Day, Thursday, June 24th, one of the most terrible storms experienced in Essex took place. The morning had been very hot and bright when suddenly at 3 p.m. the wind got up from the west and rain began to fall, followed almost immediately by a terrific hail storm, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Many of the hailstones measured 2½ inches in diameter and appeared to be almost solid ice. Before the storm, gardens and crops around looked most promising, appearing better than they had done for years, but within 15 minutes all was changed, nothing was left but blighted hopes and utter ruin - everything above ground seemed to be annihilated and destroyed. The force of the hail storm was such that it completely stripped the tress of all fruit, and even tore the bark off the trees - to say nothing of their leaves. The crops in the fields were simply cut to pieces.
The loss to this parish alone will exceed £2,000. Hardly a house in the parish escaped having its windows broken. At Brizes Park it is said over 900 panes of glass were shattered - at Kelvedon Hall over 400 - at Pryors, the Chase, the Rectory, upwards of 70 each - and other houses in the same proportion: greenhouses, &c., were simply wrecked.