Swansea Weather 1840-1846 by J. OLIVER REMINISCENCES OF PAST WEATHER not infrequently refer to summers which were hotter and drier, or winters colder and snowier than now. Such impressions, as indeed those of other events, are blurred by the passage of time and coloured by the unusual occurrence or catastrophe. Often, when they exist, the data from meteorological recordings do not fully support such recollections. There is the danger, however, in going to the other extreme and assuming that the general pattern of our climate is quite static and that it is only the weather over periods of a few days or weeks which varies, in apparently a haphazard and inexplicable way. Records of past weather, gleaned from all sorts of sources, reveal that over centuries or decades, and within certain limits, our climate has altered. In the nineteenth century in Britain there were three relatively colder spells in the decades centred about 1815, 1840 and 1890. It is fortunate that the middle period is covered not only by some of the early records kept at the Royal Institution but also by the diary of Edward Hancorne, farmer and auctioneer, of Kittle Farm, Gower. Together with much other interesting comment Hancorne's journal provides a daily note on the weather and its consequences for the years 1840-1846. The rains of the winter 1839-40 caused Hancorne to note (15 February) the winter being so very wet, I have not plowed any barley ground." Cold frosty weather set in, however, with easterly winds, in the second half of February, so that we read (25 February), water so scarce obliged to send all cattle to Court- house river to drink." The season remaining dry until the end of March lead to the entry (27 March), the ground getting very hard and dry, but still noble weather for cleaning this horrid, filthy garden." The dry, cold Spring resulted in a shortage of fodder and in wheat looking bad all over the country (19 April)." Heavy rain on 24 May came just in time, as the land was gone very dry." After a July of catching weather for the hay a dry spell at the end of the month enabled a good hay crop to be got in by 1 August. The promise of 4 August, The weather now seems quite settled and beautifully fine and hot such as we have not had for some years was spoilt by the unsettled conditions of the rest of the summer, which rather hindered the grain harvest which did not end until 2 October. The first three weeks of October were delightful weather but the customary stormy weather of November caused floods in the Bishopston Valley and ruined Hancorne's auction sale at the Hill House, Glanmor (9 November). The first frost of the year on 3 December was followed from the 10th onwards by a cold, dry, east wind.