RAIN & FLOODS
FREAK WIND EFFECT
STORMY & WINDY DAYS
BRITAIN'S DRIEST PLACE
YEAR 2000
OCTOBER 1987
ONE MAN'S STORY 1953
FLOOD AT SEAWICK
JAN-FEB 1953


ST OSYTH IN THE RECORD BOOK


It’s Official and once again St Osyth is identified as the driest place in Britain. The newly published reference book ‘The Top Ten of Everything 2007’ reports it as the driest over the last 40 years. The overall lack of rainfall has been known for some time and for many years Lee Wick Farm, St Osyth was the particular place identified in the ‘Guinness Book Of Records’ with only 513 millimetres of rain per year.

This new report records just 506.9 millimetres (19.96 inches) per year, averaged over a 40-year period.  Compare this with the wettest place in Britain, which is Crib Goch in Snowdonia, Wales, with 4470 millimetres or 176.0ins of rain - I am quite pleased not to live there!


Our local newspaper The Evening Gazette, made a feature of this news on Thursday 4th January, including interviews with Miss Phil Hendy, local History Recorder and Michael Talbot, who with John White is the Tendring District Council representative.

The Evening Gazette along with the weekly Clacton Gazette ran the story with a picture of Michael Talbot hand in hand with his three grandchildren, splashing about in a puddle following recent rain.

It was reported to me that other local newspapers also carried the story and picture including The Maldon and Burnham Standard and the Southend Standard.

It is ironic that in this web entry about St Osyth being the driest place in Britain, John White, present Parish Council Chairman, was called upon with others to man a rowing boat which set out to rescue stranded residents, many of whom spent the night on their roofs after having broken through their ceilings as the water rose during the night of the ‘Great Flood’ of January 31st - 1st February 1953.  (Click)

It is surprising to find that the technical definition of a desert is a place with 10 inches or 250 millimetres of rain or less a year. St Osyth has twice this ‘desert’ level, but as the saying goes: "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good". So to accompany this disturbing news, is the fact that as a holiday area, with the largest collection of static caravans and mobile homes in Essex, people who holiday in this general area should have many less rainy days, than if they were holidaying elsewhere in Britain.
We are a rural area with farming and farmers families an important part of our community. The sacristy of water is an additional burden on an industry already under pressure. Some farms have their own reservoirs and others abstraction licences to use underground water. Farming is not an easy life and water shortage is yet another obstacle to be overcome. Perhaps farming is the down side of the aphorism in the paragraph above?


16/1/07


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