On this day in Yorkshire 1950

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Storm Damage in the North

Heavy thunderstorms, accompanied frequently by hail and high winds, swept over the North of England yesterday.

Leeds experienced two storms during which three buildings were struck by lightning. Two girls staying at the Y.W.C.A. hostel. Hanover Square. Leeds, had narrow escapes when fireplaces were blown into the rooms yesterday morning.

The Leeds City Fire-Brigade had to demolish a damaged chimney stack. Gas and electricity supplies were cut off. Mrs. Hilda Stead, of Ash Road. Headingley, was out when her house was struck, and neighbours summoned the Fire Brigade to deal with a fire in the chimney and attic.

At the Wellington Hotel, Low Road, Hunslet, a chimney and fireplace were badly damaged. These thunderstorms followed the wettest St. Swithin’s Day for many years. At Leeds City Museum 0.46 inches of rain were recorded for the 24 hours to 11 a.m. yesterday

Kenneth Abbott (23), of Mount Pleasant, Little Smeaton, near Pontefract, was hurled across the room as lightning struck the house yesterday.

“There was a whizz, and a thump like that of bomb.” Mr. Abbott said later. “I was thrown across the sideboard, and my right arm and leg were temporarily paralysed. It was as though they had taken cramp.”

The lightning had followed the interior wireless aerial from the roof and through the house, and had earthed near the window at which Mr. Abbott was sitting.

It set fire to the curtains, and the Pontefract Fire Brigade was summoned, but neighbours put out the blaze.

A violent thunderstorm over Wharfedale caused an electrical fault that put out the lights at the Farnley Park camp, where there are 500 women Territorials.

Lightning struck the chimneys of two houses in York, dislodging chimney pots and tiles. Windows were broken and slight damage was caused when a television aerial fitted to a house was struck by lightning at Harrogate last night.

The house is occupied Mr. C. H. Padgett, a greengrocer, and Messrs. Hawkins and Moss, electrical engineers.

Six people escaped injury when two houses in Hull were struck by lightning. The rain, wnich was accompanied by hail, was so heavy that one of Hull’s bus services was curtailed and traffic diverted when sewers beneath the Chanterlands Avenue Bridge were unable to cope with the water.

The chimney stack and roof of a house in Hessle Avenue. Gillett Street, were damaged when lightning struck the house. Mrs. Caroline Higgins (70), her daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Botham (30), and Mrs Botham’s three-week-old child, Leslie, were in the house at the time.

When lightning struck the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Runkee, of 32nd Avenue, North Hull Estate. It blew out the front of the firegrate. With Mr. and Mrs. Runkee was their 14-year-old son.

Damage was confined to the chimney stack and roof.

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