British nuclear test rocks WA city

Men working outdoors were surprised to learn the explosion had taken place. They didn’t even feel the tremor, but people indoors felt what they described as a small earthquake.

Onslow generally quickly returned to normal routine.

How Onslow saw the explosion - the atomic cloud 85 miles away.

How Onslow saw the explosion – the atomic cloud 85 miles away.

By about 10:30 a.m., the men were back at work, loading empty 44-gallon drums, most of which were used as part of the nuclear preparation, onto trucks for transport to the jetty for transport south.

Onslow District Hospital trembled twice under the influence of two separate earthquakes.

All the doors on the porch facing the blast area slammed shut.

Matron M. Rencoule ran through the wards in case the patients were alerted. She found that everyone had taken it calmly.

Outback kitchen rattled

Miss Joan Raynor, daughter of the warden at Mardie Sheep Farm, a satellite camp in mainland Australia 54 miles from the center of the blast, said her kitchen “rattled like crazy” as the air shock swept through the countryside.

The reverberation has also been described as resembling the firing of distant heavy guns.

School children watch the mushroom cloud on Onslow beach.

School children watch the mushroom cloud on Onslow beach.Recognition:news

A woman standing outdoors at Karratha Sheep Farm, 70 miles from Monte Bellos, reported that the concussion had a particular effect on her ears, “something like a steep dive in an airplane.”

In Port Samson, nearly 100 miles from the blast, a concrete building shook violently, while in the nearby community of Roebourne, windows and doors shook violently.

Natives on a sheep farm near Roebourne were alarmed by the sudden thunderclap out of the blue. Several said they feared they would go deaf.

In the iron goods shed, one of the largest buildings in Onslow, the goods clerk, Mr Vincent Nicolini, heard a distinct bang.

“The shed continued to rumble for about a minute and my ears started buzzing,” he said.

Deputy Wharfinger Mr George Simpson, who was in the office of the goods shed, said: “The building appeared to be shaking to its foundations. After waiting so long, I instinctively knew what had happened and sped out in time to see a puff of smoke forming.”

Mrs Margaret Gazzard, who was in her kitchen with her four-year-old daughter Glenys, heard a window rattle and a previously filled crack open again.

She turned to scold the child for throwing something at the window, but then felt the whole house begin to vibrate.

A window rattled loosely in the frame.

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Mrs. Gazzard’s ears began to pound, “as if they were flying in an airplane.”

At least 10 minutes after the explosion, she was still temporarily deaf.

horse bolted

A health official, Mr ‘Nobby’ Clarke, was hitching a horse to a cart when the animal, startled by the rumbling, broke free and sped across a 2-acre paddock. It pranced in the corner of a fence until Mr. Clarke could calm it down.

After school started, the teacher, Mr. Rex Bandy, led the 36 children of all ages down to a viewpoint on the beach.

There he explained to them the atomic bomb principle.

Yaraloola Station, 70 miles from Monte Belles, heard a rumble and saw the cloud. So does Peedamulla, which is 90 miles away.

Yanrey station, which is 200 miles from the islands, saw and felt nothing.

Minderoo Station 90 miles away, felt a gust of air followed by a rumble of ground.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/western-australia/from-the-archives-1952-british-atomic-bomb-test-shakes-wa-town-20220929-p5blxd.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national British nuclear test rocks WA city

Joel McCord

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