Saturday 1st August 1846

“A very remarkable heavy thunder and hail storm commenced this afternoon which will not be soon forgotten by those who witnessed it. It began with tremendous heavy rain, accompanied by flashes of lightning, and some very loud claps of thunder, followed by a hail storm hardly remembered by man living. The stones that fell were larger than marbles, and heavier, and some few might be seen to measure the size of a halfpenny. Those persons having skylights and summer houses are severe sufferers thereby, it having almost without exception smashed every of them. Reid’s Stone Wharf and Magnus’s Slate Works napped it in their skylights while a florist in Elizabeth Street, Pimlico, had his glass house literally demolished. It also caused a sad accident to happen to a poor man named Samuel Pritchard, who sent to Wharf for half ton coals, which was loaded into his cart, and the force of the hailstones falling caused the horse to fall, which broke both shafts of the cart, besides damaging the harness, and slightly hurting the horse. Mr G Lea’s staircase skylight was smashed and the lower storeys of all houses were almost inundated. People might be seen dipping the water by pailfuls out of their kitchens and areas, and some using pumps. The fall of water was so great as to have like to have sunk our ‘Sal’ barge.  Richmonds Buildings had not escaped having the skylight smashed and the rooms nearby flooded. The storm commenced about half past three and continued unceasingly for three hours.”

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