I scrounged a lift to Redcar, as I walked to the town centre the weather changed from bright sunshine to driving rain and hailstones.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sheltered beneath a shop’s awning, an old fella sheltering next to me told me that he had burned his forearms sunbathing in Marske this morning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rain subsided and the sun broke through, I walked home along the beach watching  offshore squalls blowing across the Tees bay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI left the beach and walked along the footpath to Windy Hill Lane, the heavens opened. I arrived home soaked to the skin, elated.

Squalls – From the Middle English squalen (not recorded) and squalen (to cry, scream, squall), from Old Norse skvala (to cry out), probably ultimately imitative with influence from squeal and bawl.

Cognate with Swedish skvala (to gush, pour down)Norwegian skval (sudden rush of water). The noun is probably from the verb.  Source


Fishing Lore

Ebb Tide

At Staithes, there was a ban on borrowing salt, and never borrowing anything at all in the morning before noon.

A westerly wind, and a flood tide,

Is more than flesh and blood can bide

Wool must never be wound after 6pm, anyone doing so would be winding a man overboard.

First rains of May brings salmon away

To guard against drowning, men wore ear rings, yet curiously it was considered bad luck to try and save a drowning man.

If the north west bright, as big as a sheet,

No sails will take to hard to neet.

A good catch might be encouraged by fixing cowrie shells to the nets.

At Runswick, any stray cats were killed as the boats were returning.

Cod’ll grow no fatter till it gets a sup of May watter.

At Whitby, there was once a custom of burning the first fish caught.

No boat should put to sea on a Friday as it was considered was the Devil’s Day

If the sun sets bright on a Thursday night, there’ll be a north wind before Saturday night.

The Fishermen of Staithes did not like a new moon on a Saturday as it was regarded as a sign of bad weather for the coming month.


A North Yorkshire Glossary – Weather & Time

Inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s wonderful book, Landmarks, here is part one of a North Yorkshire glossary. Most of these words were collected by Richard Blakeborough, Rev. Atkinson & M. Morris in the mid-late nineteenth century.


Backendish – Winterly. Blashy – wet weather. Brissling – Brisk blowing wind. Brough – a faint luminous ring around the moon. Cock-leet – Dawn. Cockshut – Twilight. Dank – Damp, moist. Dagg – Drizzling rain. Drooty – Very dry weather. Droopy – Long continued rain. Faffle – A light intermittent wind. Fair up – to cease raining, becoming fine. Griming – A light covering of snow. Grow-day – A mild warm day after showers. Hen-scrats – Small cirrus clouds also known as Filly-Tails. Hag – A thick white fog which when followed by frost forms frost hag. Harr – A thick fog. Hing for rain – Rain is probable. Holl – The dead of night. Ice-shoggles, Ice-shogglins, Ickles – Icicles. Moy – Muggy. Nisly – Showery. Ower-kessen – Overcast, cloudy. Pash – A heavy fall of rain or snow. Peerching – A cold, biting wind. Pit Murk – A very dark night. Rack – Fleecy clouds driven by wind. Roke, rawk – Thick fog. Roving – Wild unsettled weather, likely to be stormy. Shy – A piercing wind. Slathery – Wet rainy weather. Sob – To sigh as the wind does on the approach of calmer weather. Steeping rain – Heavy rain. Stoury – Weather, characterised by driving dust or snow. Summer-colt – Undulating vapour near the surface of the ground on a hot summers day – haze. Turf-graving time – Autumn. Waft – A slight puff of wind. War-days – All days but Sunday. Weather Breeder – Unseasonal fine weather. Weather gaul – An incomplete rainbow, a sign of rain.