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:
’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”
[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.
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:
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:
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
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
The Magic Seaweed surf forecast for today promised the arrival of a new long period swell:
Plan A for today involved getting in the water and out back before said swell arrived.
When that failed to materialise plan B involved heading for spot M with video recorder and tripod in rucsack.
When that failed to materialise plan C involved heading for high tide Crackington Haven. When that did materialise here are the sights that met our sore eyes:
We also recorded some moving pictures, including sound effects:
Finally, for the moment at least, the almost imperceptible damage to my left arm after the almost undetectable injection of what ultimately turned out to be a dose of the Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine for my booster jab: