Saturday, 11 January 2014

A dreadful storm in 1847

In 1847, there was one of the most terrific storms that was ever experienced in Windsor. The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on the 8 February 1847 that it was a hailstorm ... black clouds met each other, as if in secret conclave, whilst the horizon became gradually dark as the shades of evening closed up on the fated town of Windsor. The report continued, The storm commenced the lightning flashed exceedingly vivid and the thunder followed, rolling with awful solemnity. Rain, hail and tempest, came in their course ... the hail stones were of an immense size, many of them equalling a hen's egg ... the fury of the storm having ceased, the unfortunate inhabitants felt thankful, and proceeded to examine the state of their houses, which in most instances presented a deplorable appearance.” At 11 o'clock that night the storm recommenced and serious damage was done to various parts of the town.

St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor. Photo: M. Nichols

A number of buildings suffered much damage. At St. Matthew's Church, pictured above, eight large windows (comprising of 480 panes of glass) were completely smashed. Twelve windows at the nearby rectory were also smashed. The Presbyterian Church on the corner of George and Christie Street, lost fifty panes of glass. The Wesleyan Chapel lost 300 panes whilst the Hospital lost 150 panes. Other properties with smashed windows and minor damage included Cross's large building in Windsor's Macquarie Street, Millers' public house, George Freeman's, Dr. Stewart's, T. Byrnes, Mr. Edward's druggist shop.  Mr. Mountford's shop was badly damaged and not only were windows smashed but the glass jars and bottles in the shop windows damaged.

The local glass manufacturer and workmen must have been kept busy replacing all the panes of glass after this disastrous event.

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