Royston town’s weather station closes after 40 years

Richard Barker, Royston weather man

Richard Barker, Royston weather man - Credit: DW

IT WAS the end of a meteorological era in Royston this week when the town’s weather station closed down after 41 years.

Weather observer Richard Barker founded the Iceni Weather Station at his home in Newmarket Road in May 1972.

But after four decades of providing data to people in Crow country and beyond, he is now moving away from the area and as a result the station closed on Monday.

He said: “We’re moving to Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire, so I’ve had to take all the instruments down this week. It’s sad because it has been a life’s work in a way.”

A former civil servant who is now retired, Mr Barker has been collecting data from the station twice a day since it was founded, and has built up a detailed record on his website.

“I’ve always had an interest in the weather, though I’m not a trained meteorologist, and when I moved to Royston I decided to start the station,” he said.

“It’s changed quite a lot over the years with the advances in technology, but you still have to do the manual side of things too in going out to collect the data.”

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Mr Barker’s data has been used by researchers and students from a variety of academic institutions, as well as companies looking to move to the area.

“You get a lot of people who are visiting the area and want to know what the weather will be like,” he said.

“I even had one lady ask me what sort of clothes she should be packing for her trip.

“I’ve had several emails since I announced it was closing down, and the website will remain online for reference.”

You can view a comprehensive record of Royston’s weather since 1972 by logging on to the weather station website,