What was described by the local papers as a 'Severe Shock of Earthquake', took place at 5.30 am, on the 17th December 1896. They reported: 'People were awakened by a loud rumbling noise, accompanied by disturbance of the ground so that houses were shaking, windows rattling, beds rolling, and general alarm occasioned. Fortunately, there was no injury to life or limb, and no damage of a serious nature, but numerous incidents were reported, some of a humorous description. At Claines the bells were set ringing, as also was the case at a residence in Droitwich Road; and the clock at All Saints Church was stopped. Tiles were shaken off the roofs of several houses, and a chimney was thrown down in Ombersley Road.
'A maid servant awakening to find her bed heaving concluded that a man was underneath it; and another servant was nearly frightened into a fit by her terror at the rolling of her bed. At the Falcon Inn, Broad Street, a barrel of stout rolled right across the room in which it was lying on its side. One citizen was heard to declare that the 'osculation was terrific'.