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Jane Hales, in her book ‘The East Wind’,
gives a description of the 'Rage' of 1897.





Ruth Holman, shown here on the left when she was  older, lived at the East end of Salthouse  opposite  beach road, and she is the 'Ruth' of this story:


This excerpt from Jane Hales' book, appeared - with the permission of her family - in the Salthouse book, SALTHOUSE the story of a Norfolk village, in 2003.

"Back into the mists of memory the people have lived under threat of the Rage. That of November 28th, 1897 is still remembered. All night long the north-westerly had swept over the waste of waters and the shuddering marsh, to the village on the skirts of the uplands. The people of Salthouse knew what it forebode, for ‘the tide was in the eye of the wind’ (the wind was with the tide). "Ruth, a strong young woman with a houseful of children, was getting her breakfast. There were windows but no doors to the north side of the house, which overlooked the marshes. The doors opened to the south, into a yard, sheltered by the rising land. As she ate, and fed her husband and the noisy children, Ruth watched the foam flung skywards beyond the shingle bank. Then she saw something that she had never seen before, though, indeed, her mother had spoken of such a happening; waves were flowing on to the marsh through a gap near the Rocket House and were spreading rapidly.
" The sea had over-stepped its bounds, the steep grey wall of shingle. It was hardly more astonishing than if a piece of the sky had fallen! ‘Here she come,’ cried Ruth gleefully. She was high-hearted enough to defy the elements, as her fore-fathers had done. ‘You don’t need to laugh’ grumbled her husband, knowing there was hard work ahead. In twenty minutes, the sea had burst through in many places. Soon the water over-swept the marsh and was in the village. Ruth ‘set the children on the table and went to lay hold on a thing or two’. The hot cinders were carried hissing from the fireplace; the partitions between the rooms were broken down. With all she could gather, Ruth and her family walked over the fold of the meadows to the home of relations, in a higher part of the village. They stayed there ‘come Valentine’. "
Jane Hales' book: The East Wind  is now out of print, though it may be found in the public library. It was published in 1969 by Charles N. Veal & Co.
The Rev William Bramley Sayle Dalby, the Rector at the time of the great 'Rage' of 1897,  wrote this in the Parish Record book:

On the 28th November 1897 a disastrous gale and storm arose by which a number of houses were damaged and much damage was done to property, stock etc along the main street of the parish facing the sea. By the generous aid of a number of sympathetic friends both in Norfolk and in various other parts of England, a handsome Relief Fund was raised and distributed by a committee of which the Rector was the Chairman.
No less than 540 was contributed to the Relief Fund, and the numerous sufferers were substantially relieved.


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Val Fiddian 2005