The people in Penzance who have most probably suffered more than anyone else as the of the terrific storm Saturday night 8th December 1934 and early on Sunday morning, are the hotel proprietors and occupiers of houses at Wherrytown.

The basements of the Carlton and Riviera private hotels presented a sorry sight when the gale had wreaked its fury, and the occupants must have had a very trying experience.

Even on Tuesday morning carpets were still saturated with water and squelched when walked upon. On the walls of the basement rooms were the tell marks which showed how high the water had been. In the Carlton the water was between two and three feet deep, while in the Riviera there was well over three feet of water in one room.

Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Paynter, the proprietors of the Carlton and Riviera Hotels respectively, said the furniture had been floating around the rooms, and hundreds of pounds’ worth of damage had been done.

Two people in the Carlton and one in the Riviera had the shock waking up and finding their bedrooms, in the basement, feet deep in water, and they were greatly concerned about the unpleasant night upon their health. So much water came in that the fire engine had to pump it out.

The largest inrush came from the back, where the water forced open the doors, but the sea dashed over the Promenade and up the steps at the front of the hotels. It smashed a basement window at the Riviera and the water poured through the inlet into the kitchen.

The houses in Wherry town also suffered, and here again a considerable quantity of water came in through the back. Boards were placed position in the fronts, and at the eastern end the houses escaped having the water in the front rooms, but those at the western end were not so fortunate, as the water flowed right through the houses.

It was a very distressing state of affairs, and the people of Wherrytown were naturally wanting something to be done to prevent a recurrence of the storm damage.

Residents and hotel owners were clearly angry at the Penzance Town Council for spending hundreds of thousands on a swimming pool and nothing on sea defences. They questioned the councils priorities.


Staff member
Wherrytown and the Prom certainly have had a fair share of storm/sea damage over the years...
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