Long before global warming was ever mentioned, Plymouth was being hit by balmy weather.
In the great storm of January 1814, the snowfall in Plymouth fell to a depth of twenty inches in just six hours. The snow lasted for six weeks.
During the great blizzard of March 1891, the people of Plymouth had a rare opportunity for skating when the Chelson Meadows flooded and froze over. Water supplies to the city were halted as underground pipes froze.
The photos shown here show a flood in Tamerton Foliot in November 1929. The heavy rains flooded much of Devon and Cornwall during the month and the story of Tamerton Foliot was reported in the Western Morning News of Friday 29th November 1929. It read:
'Waters invaded Tamerton Foliot yesterday and entered many of the cottages, the occupants of which had to move their furniture to drier quarters.
The river, which has swollen to a lake, is partially restrained from the flooded main road by a high wall, and on the stream side it is said that the water is about six feet deep. Planks span the gardens as improvised bridges.
The general traffic to and from the village is diverted to another road but several cars came to grief yesterday on the flooded main road.'
By Monday 2nd November 1929, the Western Morning News was reporting the ongoing plight of Plymouth residents under the headline 'Beleaguered by Floods.' The story read:
'A serious situation faces some of the residents in the Laira district of Plymouth as a result of the floods. They have been besieged in their upper rooms and have had to be conveyed to and fro in a large boat requisitioned for the purpose. Provisions and newspapers were brought to them by the same means. Today, two large lorries provided by the corporation will replace the boat.
Throughout yesterday, pumping operations were carried out by the fire engine.
The rainfall, which has caused so much flooding to the Westcountry during November, has broken all previous records. In the Plymouth area, the fall has been the heaviest since 1914.
In the lower part of Stenlake Terrace, Prince Rock, during the floods, the local postman carried out his duties wheeled in a bath-chair. Thanks to fine spells experienced this weekend, the floods have subsided in most districts.'
After the heavy rain, serious gales hit the area during December bringing down trees and causing much disruption.
On a brighter note, during the previous summer, in July 1928, Plymouth was enjoying a heatwave, which can be seen in the final photo, shown here, of two girls, complete with drinks and a parasol. There was much written in the newspapers about the warm, hot summer of 1928 including this article from the Western Morning News of 20th July:'In Plymouth, the weather was brilliant. Bathing was popular among holidaymakers. The scene from the Hoe could not have been equalled. In the blue distance could be seen the white-sailed yachts drifting on a sapphire sea. The maximum temperature for the day was 75 degrees comparing favourable with the 80 degrees in the shade in London.'
Fashion also got a mention in the article:
'Noticeable this year at south-western seaside resorts is the variety of summer frocks worn. A feature is the large number of sunshades. Two or three years ago, sunshades went completely out of fashion, but have quickly come back into fashion again.'
Little seems to have changed over the years. Today's weather may seem balmy but, it appears, that it's nothing new!