LETTER: Direct your feet to the sunny side of the Peak

Anyone who commutes regularly between Sheffield and Manchester can vouch for Alex Stockham’s research, when he finds that it rains 32 days a year more there, than here in Sheffield (Telegraph, August 6).

When I was a student in Manchester in the late 1950s I would often come home at weekends, get the bus to Middlewood on the Monday and hitchhike over Woodhead. More often than not, the weather would be bright and breezy on the Sheffield Side of the hills, only to turn to dismal drizzle on the Manchester Side.

Way back in 1910,on the occasion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Sheffield, a detailed Handbook and Guide was published, which included a chapter on Meteorology.

It pointed out that the average annual rainfall at Weston Park for 25 years was 29.698 inches, which could be taken as the mean across the city – bearing in mind the far west of the city was Stanage at 1,457 feet above sea level, dropping down to Tinsley at just 100 feet, in the far east. The rainfall that did make it over the hills, 43ins at Redmires, had petered out to just 25ins per annum at Tinsley.

Better still, comparing Sheffield with 10 other cities of the British Isles, including, London, Dublin, Glasgow, Birmingham as well as Manchester, the yearly average of bright sunshine, over the previous five years (1905-1909) was highest in Sheffield, at 1,383 hours.

Poor old gloomy Manchester’s yearly average was lowest at 1,008 hours.

We should capitalise on our good fortune, on the lines of: “Take your coat and take your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep, Just direct your feet, To the sunny side of the Peak...”

Don Alexander

Sheffield S7