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Quake

August 17, 2014

The other day I came across an email to a friend that sent me hunting for a much older diary entry, which I eventually found.  Both concerned earthquakes here in the UK…

THE EMAIL

Wednesday, 27/02/08

Hi _____,

Hope you survived the earthquake last night!

I was still up when it struck at around 1am, and it was certainly alarming.  The whole house shook and made weird groaning noises.  I thought Stella was asleep but she told me this morning the bed was waving about!

According to the news, the quake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.  It was the biggest quake to hit the UK since the 5.4 one in 1984.  One man in South Yorkshire was injured when a chimney fell through his bedroom ceiling and many homes and businesses were damaged.  A lot of frightened old people have been contacting the emergency services too.

Did you feel it in Marple?  Hope you’re OK.

 

THE DIARY ENTRY

Thursday 19/09/84, Moulton

An amazing event this morning.  It happened just before 8 o’clock.  I was reading in bed – Searle and McConville’s life of Philby [‘The Long Road to Moscow’].

Suddenly, a strange drunken feeling.  I was mobile.  The bed was bouncing up and down.  The whole room was rocking to and fro.  A good five inches of movement.  Yet I was not drunk; I was not dreaming.  It really was happening.  The room was rolling like a boat on a choppy sea.

I looked out of the window.  Normality.  A sunny day.  Chap across the road backing his car out.

The room was still again, almost.  Just a slight tremor.  And a feeling of being poised on the edge of a precipice.  Don’t breathe, don’t move…

Subsidence?  There was a lot of it in Northwich in Victorian times due to salt extraction.  Or an earthquake?

I looked around, sure the house was leaning though there were no cracks.  Outside all was square, not a roof tile out of place.  Oh well.

Yes, it was a quake, according to the news: 5.4 on the Richter scale, one of the strongest ever in this country.  Epicentre just off the Welsh coast, in the Irish Sea.  The worst affected areas are Merseyside, Manchester and Cheshire with minor property damage having occurred, but it was felt as far away as London and Edinburgh.

The quake is the talk of the village, of course.  One old guy in the Traveller’s Rest, fortified with a pint of the best, announced to all and sundry that he’d been “bloody scared”.

“Aye, thought I was going to have another heart attack,” he said.

It’s going to be a while before we regain our faith in Terra Firma!

~~

Have a great Sunday, everyone.  Fingers crossed it’s earthquake-free!

~~

Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

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From → Diary

4 Comments
  1. Hey there. Just checkinh in. I’m glad that you and Stella fared well through the quake. I hope the rest of your family is doing well. Quakes are not common in Maryland, but we do get them once in a blue moon. Every time we get one I panic! Take care!

    • Hey, Lita, so glad you dropped by! The Market Rasen quake of 2008 and the Lleyn quake of 1984 were certainly alarming though we didn’t suffer any property damage ourselves, here in Moulton. Fortunately, significant quakes (magnitude 4 and above) are fairly rare in the UK, only four others, I think, in the last 40 years.

      We’re absolutely fine but busy with several major family events recently and another coming up at the end of the month. Hope all’s well with you in Maryland. Will email you soon.

      Take care,

      Paul

  2. Pixie Pearl permalink

    I read the first words: I hope you survived the earth quake last night. This alarmed and engaged me,,,,

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