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Total Eclipse Tuesday, 24 August, 1999, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Views of the eclipse from around the UK
Did you witness the eclipse? Read and see what BBC News Online users in the UK felt and experienced.

Click here to read the latest emails from around the world

Click here to read the first emails we received

Your Reaction:

Being in Shropshire we did not experience full totality, but it was very eerie and the sky went a funny colour and it seemed as if it was going to rain. The BBC coverage was excellent, thank goodness for the Hercules.
Rosemary Hamilton, England

Despite many reports that the Eclipse was not visible from Cornwall we would like to state for the record that on the north Cornish coast 3 miles south of Newquay at Porth Joke we experienced clear views of the eclipse from about 5 minutes before totality to 15 minutes afterwards. The spectacle looked as though it would not be visible up until virtually the last minute but in the end all came good and the images experienced by those lucky enough to be on the cliff tops at that time will live on for ever. Regards
John Sekula, Joy Burnell, Alexis Burnell, Alan and Jan Martin and Charlotte, Cornwall

I didn't see a full eclipse BUT what I did see from here in the south east was very exciting indeed, I felt so helpless as the moon covered about 97% of the sun, it just goes too show that with all the wonderful invention we have created over the past 100 years it is no match for nature's wonderful display of great power that no-one can stop. I am sure I will visit a country soon for my first full eclipse. I can't wait.
Wayne, England

Karl Hayward Bradley, London, took this picture with a specially filtered digital camera
I saw the partial eclipse from my back garden, and I cannot remember a more spiritual experience. The quality of the subdued light and cooler temperature, combined a strong sense of a shared communal experience across Britain and Europe, made this a once in a lifetime event. It is not often that nature offers us the opportunity to take two minutes out to reflect individually on our lives by providing such an awesome astronomical event.
Richard Frisby, South London

Persuaded the boss that the best and safest technique for viewing the eclipse was from a pub garden in City. The eclipse was interesting, the beer somewhat better. Did you know that the eclipse actually ended at 12:00? Or was that my third pint?
John, London, England

Impressive in Oxford. It didn't get all that dark, but there was an extraordinarily rich quality of light - colours accentuated, and bright light contrasting with deep shadows. The spire and pinnacles of the University buildings looked spectacular.
Mark Purcell, UK

It's interesting to see how people have reacted to this event. It shows how interested people are about the world we live in. Perhaps the next step is to appreciate and care for it.
Neil Rodber, UK

What an experience. I viewed it from Reading and although it wasn't a perfect eclipse it is still a "Wonder" of the world. Many people may have been disappointed that we were not in total darkness but they have to remember this will depend on where they are. Imagine if you were in the direct path of darkness for nearly 3 hours! Wow that would be amazing.
Matt Bates, Reading

R Hawton, UK, sent in this picture of an eclipse watcher
A group of us local government employees huddled, sharing solar viewers and digital cameras, on the front lawn of the town hall. It was quiet in Catford, London. Streets were empty of cars, and a strange, almost hurricane like darkness descended. We watched as the sun was eaten by the dark disk of the moon, and then, enriched by our experience, went back to work.
Joe Knappett, Catford, London

It is a privilege to have shared a once in a lifetime experience with millions of people all over the world. The eclipse is an event which forces us to acknowledge the awesome power of nature and that, after all, man is but a "quintessence of dust".
Ikenna Azuike, England

I was at work during the eclipse in Bristol but I managed to sneak out on to the fire escape to see it - it was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. As I will be 110 yrs old at the time of the next one - I just HAD to see it
David Trevaskus, England

Fantastic, it is a clear day up here in the North East and clear views of the eclipse were seen which were absolutely amazing- A few minutes after the time of 'totality' the sun became surrounded by a huge shadow which was completely encircled by a rainbow! This lasted about 5 minutes... simply spectacular . Can we have an encore!
Lucy, UK, North East (University of Sunderland)

Here in the south-east of England it went quite dark and the temperature dropped. I also noticed there was no wind. It was a spectacle I will not forget, although I did not see the full eclipse, seeing it live on BBC1 and hearing the people on Radio1, gave me goose bumps and a feeling of goodwill. Here's wishing a happy eclipse day to all the people at BBC News/News 24.
Neil Green, UK

What did we see ? Lots of fluffy clouds !!
Kevin Hardy, U.K.

Everyday life pales into insignificance. I think it reminds everybody of their position on a cosmic level.
Martin, Scotland

The PwC building is above Charing Cross Station and looks south over the river. On the front of the building is a lattice work of metal decoration. By getting the sun behind one of the crossbeams I was able to see the progression of the eclipse in a reflected picture on this crossbeam. It was a fascinating experience and a phenomenon I shall never forget. I shared this with a number of office colleagues who were all equally impressed by the magnitude of what was happening. You can understand why people in history were frightened by the sudden twilight and cold with its resultant superstitious theories.
Elizabeth Bush, London

We stood on top of our office block and watch as hundreds of people gathered in Trafalgar Square. It went rather cloudy, but we could see the sun being covered and it went dusky. All the lights came on in the Square and in the fountains, the pigeons all went to roost on the base of Nelson. All very spectacular and worth seeing. Only hope the photos come out!!
Karen Sweeting, London UK

It's heart-warming to hear of distant communities coming together in a spirit of conviviality from all over Europe, to share in what must be the world's largest ever excuse for a fag break.
Simon Ball, Glasgow, Scotland

I saw nothing... The damn moon got in the way.
Barnaby Hart, England

We all went out to the university parks with special glasses, pin hole camera cards and the mirror reflecting device... and saw the 95% eclipse! through some glasses. It looked like a white disc and thru the black ones like an orange crescent! Around 11:18-19 it became very grey and the light was very diffused. Then more light came on. We were looking for crescents under the trees, as I had remembered seeing in India during the 24th Oct '95 eclipse. And one of us took a white sheet under a near by tree...and lo and behold! we saw millions of crescent-shaped shadows! Then later on our way back we could spot such shadows on the ground as well! Told everyone we most people didn't know about the foliage working as pin hole cameras. So it was great to see the eclipse and experience this celestial phenomenon the last one of this millennium! wow!
Vibha Joshi, UK

The view from Cambridge, UK, as sent in by Colin Myles
Wow! What can I say? I'm in Brighton and even though it was a partial eclipse what I experienced was something else. The best part was almost 98 percent cover and being able to see Venus visible, I even saw two satellites passing over!
Simon Clout, Brighton

The Sun and the Moon are among the signs of Allah. They are there so that we can contemplate His wondrous and incredible creation. The eclipse is one of the greatest signs of Allah. Do you not see how the moon perfectly covers the sun? The moon is the perfect size to block out the light of the sun. Allah made the universe in perfect proportions. Will you then not believe? I spent the eclipse with other Muslims in prayer as this was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when an eclipse happened during his lifetime. We remembered the Day of Judgement, a day when all men and women will be brought before their creator. Allaahu Akbar!
Abdul-Wahid, UK

Here in Cambridgeshire we had a few high clouds but we could see the eclipse fairly easily. The only strange thing was that there was a shadow being projected against the clouds...Very thin and running North to South. I just wonder if this was the actual shadow of the moon or some other phenomenon.
Jonathan Bullwinkle, Cambridge

I saw the moon eclipse the sun and bathe Wandsworth Common in an eerie light as crowds of people grappled with their half-baked attempts at home-made eclipse glasses. One elderly gentleman sat on a bench eating a sandwich, steadfastly refusing to take any notice of one of the few events that is commensurate with modern man's capacity to wonder. Or something like that.
Nick Moore, London

Watched the eclipse in Bushy Park. During the last minute towards the 97% coverage, the light dropped to 'dusk' levels and it got quite cold. Very surreal looking around at the landscape. The birds didn't stop singing, but the squirrels in the trees went mad! The sky was quite clear, but as the temperature dropped a thin layer of cloud formed in the upper atmosphere as the water vapour cooled and condensed. Good views of the sun through 'eclipse' glasses, and amazing pinhole camera effects seen in the shadows of trees - hundreds of images dancing on the ground.
Clive Scoggins, Teddington, Middx.

Billy Ackers sends this dramatic image from just outside Manchester, UK
I was impressed - as it got colder and colder it made me realise how much I wanted our big yellow friend to come back! It makes you realise how vulnerable we all are. I felt mankind's significance was rather eclipsed by the grandeur of the display...
Alex, Oxford, UK

I joined the majority of staff and student outside at 11am at the University of Warwick to watch the eclipse, some having made pin holes out of two sheets of card. We were fortunate in having some special glasses to use. We were very lucky that the sun was out the whole time, the cloud seemed to disappear just at the right time. It seemed to go very cold and the birds stopped singing for a few minutes and also a cold wind seemed to come out of nowhere. Altogether quite a eerie experience, and one that I certainly won't see again in my lifetime. At least I can say to my grand children that "I was there".
Sheila Hammerton, Warwickshire

Actually, the main thing I noticed was that those people who had been consistently mocked for buying 'eclipse viewers' when there wouldn't be a chance of using them found their social standing radically elevated. Erstwhile figures of fun became suddenly the most popular people in the company!
Tim Smith, United Kingdom

Adam, England - South Coast - Worthing

Mainly watched reflections in water. We had about 90% totality here in Leics (but made sure I was in sight of the TV for totality!). As the moon moved across the sun, it was mainly cloudy, but thin enough to see the sun without glare, whilst as the moon moved away, the clouds broke, giving a very interesting light effect - a sort of very dirty sunlight. I had hoped to go to Devon, but the purchase of a new dog at the weekend put paid to that. I will regret not going, but perhaps got a better deal up here!
Liz Pearce, Leicestershire

In Leeds it was terrific. Although the clouds were covering the sun, it provided a good filter to see the eclipse clearly. Good fun.
Jason Campion, Leeds

Clear blue skies in Basingstoke meant a superb view of a partial Eclipse. Around 100 people gathered in the IBM car park where two of them held up a large white board onto which were reflected images of the sun by two small mirrors. As the moon moved towards the 95% coverage mark, pigeons flew in to roost under the eves of the office roof and everyone shivered as a sudden chill came down. One man took pictures; not of the sun but of his colleagues watching the white board. As the moon passed on, the crescent on the board rotated from the right to the left. Birds started singing as if it was morning and people shrugged their shoulders and slowly departed back to their desks.
Matthew Lynch, Basingstoke

J Knaggs sends in the view from his office window in Yorkshire
Watched it through welders glasses PLUS my sunglasses due to the paranoia of going blind! We had 95% coverage here in Edgware (North London). It felt really odd in the semi-darkness! We had nice clear skies too. Some people thought it was an anti-climax but I thought it was pretty cool! I hope I haven't damaged my eyes though!
Anna Larke, Edgware, London

I saw the eclipse from London. It was just awesome. The speed at which it got dark was breath taking. It looked at first like storm clouds but as it got darker, you realised there was no rain. It was unbelievable to see the sunlight trickling through the darkness.
Simon Black, London

That was great, a definite carnival atmosphere in the West End with people on top of buildings all waving to each other. Shame it got cloudy, but we still managed to see most of the eclipse through viewers and pinholes.
Judith Howell, London

In Belfast it did get slightly darker, more like dusk, but it was very cloudy, we could only see the end of the eclipse. We made up for it by watching it on the TV. Til the next eclipse, bye...
Karen, Northern Ireland

Very nice indeed! Not quite total in Milton Keynes, but at least we got to see it at all, unlike the South West. Just the finest crescent, and ideal viewing through very thin cloud and an assortment of pinhole cameras and approved glasses. This combination reduced "flare" dramatically, allowing the crescent's shape to be seen with a lot more definition than would have been the case with a completely clear sky. When a bigger cloud briefly covered the sun, it went very gloomy, and at the peak, the lighting was overall somehow very strange, difficult to say in what way, just strange...
David Gosnell, Milton Keynes

Just enough cloud cover to see the crescent of the sun without needing special glasses. An amazing experience!
Adam Batenin, Bath,

We had no sundancers - it was cloudy and the sun looked like a crescent moon at 11-11:30. Everyone looked sadly upward with their 2 pieces of card tucked under their arms. It was very cold though so at 11:30 we all returned to our offices to clog up the network looking for eclipse pictures on the web!
Patsy Lalfam, England

It was like a November morning in August. We only got 90% but it was good to experience and the sky was relatively clear.
Nick Flanagan, Manchester,

The Imperial College, London, took this picture with an Olympus 820 camera with an infra-red filter
We were able to see most of the sun covered by the moon by frosted glass. Aside from those chatting it all went quiet and some street lights turned and then it became eerily cool. What a wonderful humbling experience...
John Lashley, UK

I didn't see much of the eclipse, but I saw the burning spirit of light and darkness illuminate the faces of the mortals gathered to witness this symbolic cleansing. It was well wicked.
Anthony Nokling, UK

Wow! That was so cool! I saw the eclipse through both the special glasses and the pin-hole method. Even though it was a bit cloudy we could see almost a total eclipse. It was really cold and I can't really describe the change in light and atmosphere but it was weird. A lot of people (including myself) experienced physical effects as well; we felt a bit "strange" and also slightly nauseous. FAB - want to see a total eclipse now.
Lindsey Buckle, London,

Fantastic clouds, which added to the experience because we could actually see what was going on. Disappointed that it didn't go dark though in Regents Park.
Charlie, London

Hi from Edinburgh! Most of our office left their desks to watch the event. It was pretty amazing, even though we only got about 80% of it. It still went noticeably chillier and the shadows on the ground got longer. Through the hole in a paper method you could see the moon covering half of the sun. Astounding.
Karen Foley, Scotland

Nothing spectacular, but clear skies and the aid of a binoculars gave a reflection of a crescent moon shape.
Dylan Morris, North Wales

The weather was OK in Newcastle. The eclipse was 86% here an was clearly visible. The most amazing thing was the quality of the light - a really eerie grey (unlike dawn or dusk) - a nuclear winter someone described it as
Graeme Walker, Newcastle

Curiously appreciative of the slight cloud cover over Lancashire taking the glare off the disk. Pretty good viewing conditions with a freaky hue of light and significant chill cast at maximum coverage (92% here). Made me realise that to fully appreciate full totality, an observer would definitely need magnification equipment to bring the spectacle of totality closer to the naked eye. Maybe next time !
Steve White, Lancashire, England

Loads of clouds, not as dark as I thought it would go.
Kevin Bailey, Harrogate

The City of London stood still. Hundreds of workers left there office near Liverpool Street and packed Broadgate Square. The clear skies minutes before became cloudy, but alas this allowed people to see the eclipse more clearly. Did the bird stop singing. well there aren't any song birds in the city, but city folk stopped working for a few twenty minutes!
Paul Johnson, London (UK)

Although not in the totality zone, the images of the moon gradually eclipsing the sun were magnificent. 'Out of this world, truly the greatest show on earth.' I can't wait to see the one in North America in 2008.
Linda, West Sussex

We all went up to the roof at work but it didn't go dark, our eyes went funny from looking at a reflection in a puddle and found it was a disappointment compared to the hype but at least we can say we saw it as most of us won't be alive (or very, very old) when the next one comes along!
Venetia Thompson, Uk

Standing in Regents Park, the gradual creeping of dusk having silenced the birds gave way to human noise as the clouds gradually cleared and a cheer rose from the cloud as the eclipse became visible at exactly 11.19. Hundreds were able to view the eclipse directly through the remaining cloud cover, and glimpse -for many- a chance in a lifetime.
Tim Mulhall, London UK

The clouds did not cover this part of the country so the sight was wonderful. The temp did drop and the feeling of dusk felt. Great team on the BBC from MB & PF on the beach and of course the boys from the RAF ( what would we do with out them )
Robin Johnston, UK

In Edinburgh the eclipse,
Was just a blip,
In everyone's imagination;
Silently we waited, but it just wasn't fated,
And nobody saw a thing!

Jamie Apold, Scotland

Watching from Reading in the South through eclipse glasses was excellent. We had clear skies here and a perfect view. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience.
Caty Johnston, Reading, England

Through a borrowed welding mask it was easy to see the moons steady progression across the face of the sun. In true British style just as we hit the crucial moment a cloud crossed the view, however through the cloud the filtered view was spectacular, seeing the corona around the sun briefly before the moon moved past the moment of cover and slowly allowed light to return to London. Office workers moved back to their offices and the A13 which had come to a stand still slowly started moving again and life like the moon moved on.
Steve Levene, London, England

It went really cold from about 10:30 onwards. Luckily we got a break in the cloud and saw about 97%. It was amazing. It was silent. It was the experience of a lifetime.
Janet, Wales

Hi, Here in Harrogate the clouds broke and although we only got 85%, we got to see the whole thing. Using the reflections in our darkened office windows, the effect was very clear (without hurting the eyes). We were also able to reflect the image using a mirror onto paper. We watched the moon slowly move across the sun leaving the top edge of the sun peeping through, it got quite dark and extremely quiet. The effect was great and we all enjoyed the event.
Debbie Wiggins, Harrogate

Arrrrggh! I'm blind, I'm blind!
Dave Stare, UK ( Derby )

95 % eclipse seen. An excellent view using a pin hole camera. Very cloudy. Very cold but not very dark.
Mandy Mawer, England

Saw partial eclipse through heavy cloud, tried pinhole device but not enough sun to project onto card. Weather very spooky, went very dark and quiet. Great TV coverage from BBC..well done!
Melanie Deeprose, Stroud, England

We all went to St James' Park with hundreds of others to view the eclipse. The weather was chilly and but clouds obscured most of it which was disappointing. It went dark as if a thunderstorm was looming but a lot of the hype that was being said before this eclipse just did not happen.
Martin Ashton, London, UK

There is a big aura of mad calm and serenity. The world feels like it has changed for the better. Hoorah
Scott Jaeger, Surrey, England

Location: Central London, Berkley Square Nice crescent shape easily visible through light cloud cover gave a minute or so of low light and a noticeable temperature. A bit of a let down but still worth seeing.
Eric Price, London

Rather anticlimactic, but the quality of light was rather surreal - very much like an old Technicolor film where they would film night scenes by day and simply turn down the contrast.
Tim Smith, United Kingdom

I was disappointed because I expected it to go very dark. I saw the birds acting confused and go quiet and then I felt very cold and for some strange reason I felt very emotional.
Karen Ellis, England

Videoed the event (through two thicknesses of welding glass. Saw about 97% totality in company with a number of my colleagues as had found out I'd brought the camera in. Very impressive experience with lots of fun chat and camaraderie!
Jim Beston, England

In North Yorkshire the sky was cloudy, so as a college class we willed the cloud to clear. Surprise, surprise, it cleared just enough to get the final glimpse of the eclipse, it was spectacular. It felt like we were in for a severe storm.
Cliff Thompson, England

Street lights went on as an eerie twilight darkness descended in Portsmouth. Cars thundered past on the nearby M27 seemingly oblivious to the sun "going out". Hundreds of staff gazed upwards wearing solar viewers looking every bit like an audience at an outdoor 3D cinema. In a word: "awe-inspiring"
Mark Chapman, UK

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