View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Saturday 4 February

The day started off with galeforce winds and heavy rain. The wind subsided, followed by extremely heavy rain, with hourly rainfall rates of 16 mm (3/4 ins) reported on the Stornoway and Aberdeen rainfall radars. By 2pm, the sun came out and it remained bright and sunny, and not too cold at all. What's all this fuss about winter, I wonder?

Well, there was this overnight low of -20C / -4F in eastern Holland. As I type this (7.30pm UK time), it has already gone down to -15C there. Reports of heavy snowfall all over England, with possible overnight lows of -12C. I'm glad it is not affecting our neck of the woods for a change. In fact, we're doing very well, thank you.

I enjoyed having a look round the site for innkeepers in Stornoway in the 19th century. I have summarised the findings on my local history blog Pentland Road. I also found out what a tidewaiter was. He was a customs official who would attend incoming shipping. The one I encountered on the 1851 census was also an innkeeper. Are the two jobs compatible? Well, at around that time, an official in the Lews estate, Donald Munro, managed to balance 32 different hats - few of them compatible with each other.