1889: Dog Blown Away as Cyclone Hits Shropshire.

A CYCLONE IN SHROPSHIRE. On Wednesday afternoon. North Shropshire was visited by a perfect cyclone—a phenomenon hitherto unheard of in England.

Our Whitchurch correspondent yesterday afternoon went over several miles of country. At Whixall, where incalculable damage has been done property and crops, as is evident on all sides, the inhabitants agree in the descriptions they give of the phenomenon. Without any warning in the elements, the cyclone came on with a great roar, which for a time drowned all ordinary sounds, as if It were the rush of a mighty body of water and an intense feeling of terror was created.

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This deafening sound lasted about five minutes, and in a short space of time trees were unrooted and stripped of there branches, hay stacks were bodily displaced, houses were partially unroofed. and barns and outbuildings were demolished.

At Mr. Sherwood’s, of Waterloo, a number of plum and other trees were uprooted. The cyclone then went over the canal, past Bostock Hall, on to Whixall Hall, where Mr. William Sutton, of Rose Cottage, Whixhll, brother-in-law to Mr. Darlington, the occupier of the Hall, had a narrow escape. He was blown across a large yard just outside the hall, and heavy stone crest, which was torn off the upper part of the hall with some tiles struck him on the side of the bead.

He was just able to avoid it falling directly upon his head with sudden movement, and be escaped with deep cut over his ear. He is now confined to his home under medical treatment. Part of his property also suffered. Mr. Darlington and his family saw from within great branches of trees torn off and carried away some distance. A part of a large beech tree was carried 160 yards, crashing against the strong walls of the hall.

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Some animals took shelter but to no avail.

A big dog kennel and dog went away in the wind distance of some 20 yards. Orchards, gardens, cornfields, and the land around the hall are strewn all over with branches, hay, straw, slates, and various missiles, and Mr. Darlington is at present unable to estimate his loss, which must be very considerable. A large farmstead half a mile from Whixall Hall, and occupied by Mr. Fowles, a well-known Shropshire farmer, was also greatly damaged, and it was there evident that the cyclone had peculiar deviation in its course, for a range of outbuildings, which night have been thought to be in the greatest danger, remain as before, while structures on the opposite side were swept away.

Uprooted trees, branches, and debris Indicate clearly that cyclone passed directly over several county residences whose occupants were in indescribable dread of being carried away.

The cyclone took a westerly coarse, about 3 and half miles in length, and 150 yards In width, expending itself at Tilstock Park, four miles from Whitchurch.

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All who witnessed say it first appeared like great white mass of vapour. An idea may be conceived of its tremendous force from the fact, which is substantiated many eye-witnesses, that the portions of the trees and quantities of hay and straw were carried over outskirts Whitchurch.

Large numbers of people from various parts are visiting the district. A Canadian gentleman, who happened to be on a visit to the neighbourhood, and who has witnessed cyclones in America, declared that this is of a precisely similar description, though less in extent and velocity.

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Wellington Journal – Saturday 24 August 1889

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