The Omicron Variant of Covid-19 in Cornwall

Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 here in Cornwall have been reducing, but it looks as though that is about to change. Compare admissions into Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust hospitals over the last 3 months:

with those across South West England as a whole:

Admissions across the West Country are now at their highest level for over 12 months, and the (delayed) numbers in Cornwall have now started to rise as well. As indeed have the nationwide figures:

[Edit – March 21st]

The comments below show the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations over the last couple of weeks. After a break over the weekend today’s data has just been released. Here are the nationwide numbers:

Here are the rolling weekly case numbers per 100,000 population across Cornwall as a whole:

As you can see, cases in Cornwall 5 days ago are currently running 50% higher than the current nationwide average. Zooming in further several MSOA’s have case rates over 1,600, and the rates in both Saltash and Par are over 2,000:

Further west the case rate in Helston is now over 1,800 :

Watch this space!

Big Surf at Crackington Haven

Yesterday afternoon I packed my bodyboarding gear into the back of Lisa the LEAF and headed for Crackington Haven. I decided not to don my 5/4/3 winter wetsuit and head out into the pounding surf. However my trip was certainly not wasted:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1498255510642073605

According to the Wikipedia article on the “Geology of Dartmoor National Park” :

The Tavy Basin comprises an upper Devonian and Carboniferous sequence of mudstones and sandstones, together with chert. The Kate Brook Slate Formation is of Famennian age and consists of greenish-grey and black slates representing an outer shelf facies. The Crackington Formation which is a Namurian age turbidite deposit consisting of dark grey shales with sandstone layers.

Shelter from the Storm

I spoke to Graham Skinner at the Davidstow Flying Club earlier this evening, in the middle of a hailstorm. Graham has promised to send me much more detailed information on this incident, but for now here is my initial investigation into the recent arson attack on one of the flying club’s hangars and the aircraft inside it:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1496947365399302151

’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood

When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud

I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Bob Dylan

[Edit – February 26th]

Graham has sent me some of the Flying Club’s photographs of the damage caused by the arson attack. Here’s what used to be a secure shelter for some microlights:

and here are all that’s left of two of the club’s microlight aircraft:

As Graham put it in his email to me:

The fires made holes in the hangar roof and then the recent extremely high winds destroyed that hangar.  The club over time had spent several  thousands of pounds on it. Now in ruins.

Very sad times for Davidstow Flying Club, but we are such a strong enthusiastic group this will NOT deter us from pursuing  our love of aviation.

I have also been informed that subsequently a twin axle Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from the damaged hangar. Here’s a picture of it:

It seems that it has been seen in the Camelford area since the theft. Whilst such trailers are not uncommon around here this one is obviously not in factory fresh condition, and hence has some identifying characteristics.

If you spot it please contact the Police.

Watch this space!




The Julie et Jim Power Cut Show

I discovered at around 9:55 this morning that Julie Skentelbery was going to be interviewing Scott Mann, our local Conservative MP here in North Cornwall, on her BBC Radio Cornwall programme a few minutes later.

More in hope than expectation I dialled the number that had just been announced and mentioned that I had already asked Scott some questions about the recent power cuts via email, but had yet to receive an answer.

Advance to around 19 minutes 45 seconds into the recording of Julie’s show on BBC Sounds to discover what happened thereafter:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bl94m0

The recording is also available to download via the BBC Sounds mobile app.

Note that one of the points Scott made was that “storage is the problem”.

Hear, hear Scott!

Yours truly,

Jim in Davidstow

Storm Franklin Power Cuts

It is now 7 PM on the evening of Monday February 21st. Here is Western Power Distribution’s current live power cut map for North Cornwall:

You can no doubt see the blue blob over the Davidstow substation indicating that there are currently power cuts on 4 different feeders? Some date back to the arrival of Storm Eunice on Friday morning. That is 3 and a half days ago.

Others are more recent, occurring as Storm Franklin passed overhead yesterday afternoon and overnight. One at least has just had its “estimated time of restoration” put back until 23:30 tomorrow night:

[Edit – 10:00 on February 22nd]

The last local power cut caused by Storm Eunice on Friday morning was finally fixed at 5:33 this morning:

That adds up to four nights without electric power for the last 6 properties to be restored. There are currently still two other faults outstanding at the Davidstow substation, but they are more recent:

Here’s how the current situation looks across the rest of Cornwall and Devon:

Watch this space!

Met Office Red Wind Warning for Storm Eunice

The Met Office have just issued a rare red wind warning for the North Cornwall coast when Storm Eunice arrives tomorrow morning:

. The storm looks fairly innocuous on the current Met Office synoptic charts:

However Storm Eunice is a “bomb cyclone“, so hurricane force winds are certainly possible in the Davidstow area. The forecast for tomorrow may still change, but the Met Office currently put it this way:

Extremely strong west to southwesterly winds will develop over southwest England and south Wales early on Friday. Widespread inland gusts of 70-80 mph are likely and up to around 90 mph near some coasts, with dangerous conditions on beaches and seafronts. Winds are expected to ease from the west during the late morning.

What to expect

  • Flying debris resulting in danger to life
  • Damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down
  • Uprooted trees are likely
  • Roads, bridges and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights
  • Power cuts affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • Large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and homes, including flooding of some coastal properties

[Edit – 18:00 on February 17th]

Storm Eunice has now officially formed out in the North Atlantic, and the 12 PM weather model runs are now available. The GFS mean sea level pressure forecast for tomorrow morning now looks like this:

Continue reading “Met Office Red Wind Warning for Storm Eunice”

Another North Cornwall Flood Alert

According to the United Kingdom Government’s “Check for Flooding” service, which is currently being beta tested:

Flood alert for Upper River Tamar

Flooding is possible – be prepared

This Flood Alert remains in force. Flooding is possible this afternoon and overnight into Thursday 30th December. Last night’s rain has caused river levels to rise and we expect these to remain high throughout the rest of today and into tomorrow morning. This may result in flooding to low lying land and roads close to rivers this afternoon and overnight into Thursday morning 30th December. However, flooding to properties is not currently expected. Take care near the areas of concern and monitor your local weather conditions. We are monitoring river levels and have staff in the area checking for and clearing blockages. This message will be updated on Thursday morning or earlier if the situation changes.

Flood alert area: Bude, Helebridge, Bridgerule, Canworthy Water, Launceston and Yeolmbridge

As is often the case at such times, the Surfers Against Sewage pollution map reveals metaphorical “red flags” at Widemouth Bay, Mawgan Porth and Fistral Beach in Newquay:



Top Gear Descend on Davidstow

For some strange reason the BBC never sent us a press release beforehand, but it has recently come to our attention that the Top Gear team have been filming in Davidstow Woods and on Davidstow Airfield. The first intimation of this surreptitious activity came via Twitter:

https://twitter.com/PaddyMcGuinness/status/1469273253948628995

More recently the three Top Gear presenters have been seen debating amongst other things whether a cream tea should be constructed jam first. Or not! There is of course no debate whatsoever:

To add insult to injury Paddy McGuinness then had the temerity to tweet this:

Cream then Jam. End of.

The matter could not be left to rest there:

Trelawny must be turning in his grave at this terrible turn of events:

Watch this space!



The Omicron Variant in Cornwall

Confirmed Covid-19 cases across Cornwall have been slowly decreasing recently, but that is about to change. Here is the current national case rate graph:

Here too is some recent news from London:

Of course we don’t have many towns here in North Cornwall, but a few miles up the A39 from Davidstow the (5 days delayed) rolling weekly case rate in the Bude MSOA has just crept above 800 again:

[Edit – December 29th]

After a break in reporting over the Christmas holiday the UK Government is issuing Covid-19 data again. There has been a big jump in UK wide cases today, no doubt partly due to some catching up after Xmas:

Continue reading “The Omicron Variant in Cornwall”

Flood Warnings for North Cornwall

In the aftermath of Storm Arwen a week ago the heavens have opened over Davidstow, and more strong winds are forecast:

Then of course there’s the flood alerts from the Government’s flooding service:

[Edit – December 4th]

Today’s strong onshore winds mean that flood warnings are still in place for this evening’s high tide. Meanwhile winter has officially arrived. There have been several showers of hail here in Davidstow this morning. Here’s one of the heavy showers on the radar rainfall (and hail!) map:

and here’s the hail itself!


As anticipated, following the recent rain several North Cornwall beaches are now “red flagged” on the Surfers Against Sewage pollution map:

Here is the Magic Seaweed surf forecast for Widemouth Bay for today:

and next week:

[Edit – December 7th]

Storm Barra has arrived and consequently it’s been very wet and windy in Davidstow this morning. The coast of North Cornwall is on flood alert at high tide once again.

At least we haven’t had a power cut yet. Unlike 10 days ago!