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Where were you on 11 August 1999 for the eclipse?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Elizabethofseasons Report 12 Aug 2019 21:11

Dear All


Hope you are doing okay.

I wanted to post this at the weekend but had poor internet connection.

It is hard to believe that it was 20 years when this event happened.


Millions of people in Europe and Asia witnessed the last total solar eclipse of the 19th century.

This event was so rare that the last one was in 1927 over mainland Britain.


The phenomenon began over the Atlantic Ocean, a few hundred miles east of Boston, North America.

The only part of mainland Britain to witness totality - the full blacking out of the sun by the moon - was Cornwall in south-west England.

Cloudy skies mean spectators there were unable to see the full effect, but the spectacle was still dramatic.

The temperature dropped and darkness fell in Falmouth at 1111 BST (1011 GMT).

TV astronomer Patrick Moore, watching in Falmouth, described it as a "strange, weird experience".


After Britain the eclipse was seen throughout Europe and Asia.

Across the Channel in northern France there were clear skies as there were in Munich, Germany.

But at the moment of totality, a torrential downpour spoiled the view.

The streets of Ramnicu Valcea, the south-central city in Romania -where totality could be seen the longest - were crammed with spectators.

In Egypt, Muslims shut themselves away on the orders of clerics but Jordan and Syria declared a national holiday.

Spectators in Pakistan and Bangladesh suffered the same fate as those in the UK, having their views obscured by clouds.


I remember the special glasses that could be purchased in shops to watch the eclipse. Most were sold out in the lead up.

I was with my family in the local park and it was packed with people of all ages looking to the sky.

A bus pulled over and the driver switched on the lights.

The sky turned a subtle pink, instead of daytime it looked like early morning.
The birds were confused and wondered if it was time to go to bed or perhaps not.

Thanks to the kindness of a youngster who loaned me special glasses,
I viewed the sun obscured by the moon. I remember the image so well.

The day after, a newspaper headline just above a picture of the sun,
read "Spooky, wasn't it?"


Take gentle care
Love Elizabeth, EOS


Allan Report 12 Aug 2019 21:40

I was at work in the Shire of Dardanup.

The Council had just built new offices in Eaton and all the staff watched the event on TV whilst enjoying lunch.

Happy days :-)


Rambling Report 12 Aug 2019 21:43

Hello Elizabeth :-)

I saw it very briefly, it was a very grey day where I was and I just caught a glimpse when it was the full eclipse.

There had been such a fuss about it since the year before and I was rather glad it was over, my mum had been fed up with hearing about it and had died in the January, so I'm afraid my main thought was "you didn't miss much Mum" :-)


Elizabethofseasons Report 12 Aug 2019 21:56

Hello Our Allan and Our Rambles :-)

Thank you for your memories. <3

Love Elizabeth, EOS


JoyLouise Report 12 Aug 2019 22:04

Sorry, Elizabeth, I can't remember it and, as I've recently cleared out all but the last five years' diaries there's no chance of ever doing so. :-)


Island Report 12 Aug 2019 22:05

I recall an elderly neighbour saying she was going to stay indoors with the curtains closed. She was quite concerned and asked 'what will happen if the sun doesn't come out again?' She must have been old enough to remember the previous one :-S

I was more amazed by the ignorance and fear felt by some than the actual eclipse - I watched it reflected in a bucket of water, it seemed to take ages (I had work to do!) and it didn't get dark as expected.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 12 Aug 2019 22:14

The children & ! were at home in N Kent where the skies were cloudless. We spent the hours alternatively watching it on TV & dashing out to the front garden with our 'eclipse glasses'.

I'd agree that the temperature did drop, the birds went quiet & the daylight took on a blueish-grey tinge. There were far fewer vehicles driving along the nearby main road. Most people were probably looking at the eclipse. The Postie was still doing her rounds, but kept stopping to peer at the sun.

My mother said she had seen the previous one - might have been 24 January 1925 or 29 June 1927 - through smoked glass. She remembers being rushed home from the daily shopping trip so that they didn't miss it. Although it was hazy where she was living in 1999, she was pleased to have seen another.

OH had taken a pair of the glasses with him to work. Most of those in the offices went outside to get a better view.


RolloTheRed Report 12 Aug 2019 22:21

I was in Paris, eclipse nearly complete. There was a sudden drop in temperature and the dogs were all barking like mad in the gloom. I did not like it at all.


maggiewinchester Report 12 Aug 2019 22:54

For some unknown reason, we went to Corfe, found a 'tor' and watched it from there.
Then, of course, we had to find a local hostelry - and had a pint of 'Eclipse' ale :-D


JoyLouise Report 12 Aug 2019 23:01

Well, I wasn't in Cornwall then, obviously, or it may have registered. Perhaps it wasn't such a good sight from wherever I was. :-S

I was probably in the pub waiting for Maggie. :-D


maggiewinchester Report 12 Aug 2019 23:13

:-D :-D :-D


PatinCyprus Report 13 Aug 2019 07:58

I was in Nottinghamshire, went gloomy, birds went quite and it was almost as if the world stood still.

Son was playing tennis a couple of villages away from where I was and they stopped playing because of the gloom.

As the sun reappeared everything went back to normal. :-D

The frightened neighbour of Island's reminds me of The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

I'll be singing Busy Doing Nothing all day now :-0


Elizabethofseasons Report 13 Aug 2019 22:01

Dear All

Thank you for your replies.

Very appreciated.

Take gentle care
Love Elizabeth, EOS


JoyBoroAngel Report 14 Aug 2019 15:13

Luxenberg :-D :-D


JemimaFawr Report 16 Aug 2019 11:14

I was in my South West Wales back garden with my husband, daughter, her partner and my 2 month old Grandson 1.

I had hastily tried to make a contraption to see the eclipse in reflection but it did not work too good :-0 :-D :-D :-D

Like Pat said, it went gloomy. A very eerie feeling actually with a palpable silence!


Jane Report 16 Aug 2019 20:06

I was at Exeter Service Station with my family and Sister and her family on the way home from a holiday in France. I have a great photo of us all with those cardboard glasses on looking up into the sky. :-D :-D


Elizabethofseasons Report 20 Aug 2019 20:53

Hello Joy, Jem and Jane

Thank you for adding your memories.

Always very welcome.

Take gentle care
Love Elizabeth, EOS