Raining cats and dogs and other stories

Weather pic

It is fair to say that the British have a something of an obsession with the weather. Yet the weather has arguably become an even more popular talking point in recent months as storms, gales and widespread flooding have wrought destruction across northern and southwest England, parts of Scotland and Wales, and as the stories of resultant damage, loss and recovery from these events have dominated the UK newspaper headlines.

Current research, which is being led by Georgina Endfield and colleagues at the University of Nottingham is drawing on historical documentary sources to explore the nature and timing of such unusual and extreme weather in the UK over the past 350 years and to investigate the socio-economic, environmental and cultural implications of these events. The team have been conducting investigations in national, regional and local libraries and institutions, and county records offices, consulting unpublished diaries, correspondence, weather records, estate papers, newspaper reports and school log books among other sources, dating back to the seventeenth century and up to the present. The archival material is a mixture of statistics, eye witness and anecdotal information, subjective accounts of unusual weather and systematic weather observations.

In our event ‘Weather Stories’ Georgina will provide a brief introduction to this research and there will be a chance to look at some of the rich documentary materials held in Derbyshire Record Office which are being used for exploring extreme weather histories in the region.

There will also be the opportunity for people to share their memories of unusual and extreme weather events through an oral history workshop.

Georgina Endfield is Professor of Environmental History in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. Her project is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The event is at the Record Office on New Street in Matlock DE4 3FE on Tuesday 14th June 2016 from 1.00pm-3.30pm and is free of charge. For more information or to book a place visit www.recordoffice.wordpress.com/events or call the record office on 01629 538347.

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