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24 September 2014

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You are in: Cumbria > Nature > Nature features > What does the weather mean to you?

A snowman

The friendly face of the weather!

What does the weather mean to you?

Talking about the weather is our national obsession. But it means more to some people than others. The weather can affect their daily routine, their jobs and can even be a matter of life and death ...

Boeing 787

A passenger jet

So why is the weather so important? For a pilot and his passengers it can affect where, when and if they fly. Eldred Curwen lives near Kendal and flies passenger jets for British Airways. He's flown in all weathers but says windy weather is the most challenging for any pilot. Having said that, he's not keen on coming too close to thunderstorms either.

Some people come rather closer to the weather than they might wish! In the BBC Radio Cumbria archives is an interview with Maisie Redhead from Carlisle. She and her house were struck by lightning in the late 1970s. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but the house did catch fire.

A tractor and a cow

Farmers need those weather forecasts!

Kathleen and Henry Robinson have a dairy farm near Kendal and span the past and present when it comes to weather and farming. Kathleen showed me a diary kept by a relative of her husband in 1940. He noted the weather down each day as well as what he was doing on the farm. The war hardly got a mention! The family have now embraced technology and have a hi-spec weather station which can be viewed via their website.

Another weather fan is Carl Fallowfield from Penrith. He has a similar set up to the Robinsons with sensors in his garden monitoring everything from rainfall to windspeed. The equipment is linked to his computer and he also likes to look at all the weather-related sites on the internet. He loves everything about the weather but thinks he's left it too late to re-train as a weather forecaster!

Paul Mooney with a weather sensor

Paul Mooney with a weather sensor

Paul Mooney did make it as a weather forecaster of course. He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio Cumbria and Look North on BBC TV. But what does he do before those broadcasts? He agreed to do an audio diary for us and even told us where he keeps his telly suits and ties!

Another man who loved his job was RAC patrolman Gordon Blacklock from Carlisle. In the late 1970s he told BBC Radio Carlisle how he nearly lost fingers through frostbite after working on broken down cars during a particularly hard winter.  

There is of course a lot of folklore and old wives' tales around the weather. In an interview recorded in 1975 Tom Lowthian from Westmorland has a few tales to tell about the Helm Wind and cowquakes week.

A tree falls onto cars in Derby's Cardinal Square

The damage tornados can do

And of course if you do get caught up in a big weather event then you can dine out on it for years. Tony Wells could still remember the Egremont tornado of 1962 when he spoke to BBC Radio Carlisle's Mavis Marshall in the late 70s. The tornado ripped off roofs and sent a fireball through a local farmyard!

last updated: 22/05/2008 at 13:42
created: 31/03/2008

You are in: Cumbria > Nature > Nature features > What does the weather mean to you?

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