I KNOW it is no consolation for anyone who has been caught in a thunderstorm recently, but around here some of the worst downpours and generally freaky weather do tend to occur in the summer months.

Just a couple of examples would be the great storm of August 1847, during which the River Severn rose eighteen and a half feet in five hours, smashing open the gates of Camp Lock, and in June 1924 when heavy storms again caused the river to flood and submerged the Three Counties Show, which was being held on Pitchcroft that year.

Leading Berrow’s Worcester Journal to report: “Motor vehicles and horse drawn drays were chartered from all over the city to rescue prize cattle and sheep and valuable items of equipment.”

In 1811 Worcester experienced a hailstorm “which was of a ferocity scarcely known in this country” (another BJ quote). Nineteenth century historian Turberville was on the spot and recorded hailstones of five to six inches in diameter, which smashed the windows in almost every south-east facing house and laid gardens to waste.

But even more drama was to follow. Tropical rain arrived and the Severn rose 25 feet above normal summer level, sweeping away whole herds of cattle grazing on the riverside meadows.

Vast numbers of birds were also found dead and the city’s glass replacement bill amounted to around £5,000, which would be well above £400,000 today.

Worcester’s worst floods have been a matter of conjecture, because the riverbank topography has changed so much over the years, but certainly those in the spring of 1947 are well up there.

They cut off all road communication from the city centre to St John’s, New Road being several feet under water, and a free rail service was run from Foregate Street Station to the now defunct Henwick Halt.

The station was by the level crossing in Henwick Road and every so often has been the subject of calls to reopen.

On the plus side, twenty buckets of lamperns were picked up at the coal tips of the power station in Hylton Road, where The Range superstore now stands, and sold by enterprising street vendors for six shillings and nine pence per gross or two for a penny.

Now that really was a retail thunderclap if ever you heard one.