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A Winter's Tale

How Would 21st Century Britain Cope With A 1946/1947 Or 1962/1963 Style Winter?

A 1946/1947 or 1962/1963 in 21st Century Britain?  

159 members have voted

  1. 1. How Would we Cope with such a winter?

    • It would be hard to begin with but eventually we should get through it!
    • It would be a complete and utter disaster with some may vicious circles!
    • We would get through it like 2009/2010 and December 2010.
    • We would never ever recover!
    • Our Entire system of Education, Food, Sport, Work would be messed up with an effect on economy?
    • We would get through it with no complaints?
    • I don't care who the country does as I would cope!
  2. 2. How Would You Cope?

    • Terribe! Can't go to work, get food, kids off school - a living nightmare
    • Pretty Bad! Extra hard work with looking after elderly neighbours and trying to do some work.
    • Bad? I would love the weather but it would have too much of an effect on my life and community?
    • Okay? I'm lived through 1963 and I love a good old fashioned winter execpt for the heating bills.
    • Quite Good? I love snow and there would be no school but I can't see my friends and School will be hell afterwards.
    • Good? No more of that scary boss at work and I and the village love snow? Just like the old days.
    • Brilliant? I've always wanted a classic winter and I've got no School and I can in the snow with my family and neighbours.
  3. 3. What Length of a Cold Spell would only just be Okay for the UK?

    • 1-2 Weeks - Just look at February 2009! We can't handle snow anymore!!!
    • 2-4 Weeks - A 2009/2010 event is the longest length of cold and snow that we can handle.
    • 1 Month - If we survived 2009/2010 then surely we could survive a few more weeks.
    • 1-2 Months - If we got through those classic winter then a month or two would be fine. But no longer!
    • An entire winter - I think that in the end we would get through an entire winter but heating bills etc will be iffy.
  4. 4. How Much snow can we handle.

    • 5-10CM - Well why else would the Met Office issued Extreme Weather warnings for 5cm
    • 10-20cm - For settlements and isolated areas this would be too much.
    • 20-40cm - If we got through 1947 and November 2010 then we should be fine with this.
    • 40-70cm - Some populated areas in the USA get 2 feet of snow and they cope.
    • 60-90cm - We coped with this in the past, the rest of the world can and the UK in 2011 can!
    • 100cm + - We should cope with 100cm and I would love it!
  5. 5. Every Winter - What is the Snow Depth that aim to Get

    • 0-5cm - As long as we get lying snow
    • 5-10cm - Pretty decent for me
    • 10-20cm - I would love this
    • 20-40cm - I would love to see this again!
    • 40-60cm - I only got 20cm last year and other places got 60cm.
    • 60-90cm - This would be perfect in a classic North Easterly
    • 90cm + - Not too big and Not too small - Just perfect and I could still get about!


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INTRODUCTION - "WE JUST DON'T GET SNOW LIKE THAT BEFORE"

From the late 1980s to 2008, the UK experienced a notable pattern of milder winter with no real spectacular snowfalls. There are a few exceptions such as 1991, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2003 etc and some battleground snowfalls prior to the 2006/2007 winter. With such a period with mostly mild winters, this idea of "we don't get snow anymore" was heightened by the consecutive incredibly mild winters of 2006/2007 & 2007/2008 which saw a real drought in regular snowfalls and decent depths with the best snowfalls more likely to happen at Easter rathern than Christmas.

After Febuary 2008, most people agreed that we had entered a snow deprived period sometime ago, and it was here again. However with Easter coming, some people enjoyed the rarity of snow at such an unusual time with a white easter - something more significant than of late. But what was to come would be far more significant.

October 2008, a sharp Northerly Airstream over the UK brought a second unusual snowfall with first snow in the South of England for more than 70 years aswell as some temperature records being broken. Then a month later, the UK experienced its second notable snowfall of the autumn with some large snowfalls at the end of November. With charts showing the potential for cold to begin December with the potential for a decent pattern for colder weather later on in the winter after a Spring and Autumn with unusual wintery weather events, the interest of a colder winter grew.

The start of the meterological winter in December 2008 saw another notable cold snap that some some decent snowfalls and my first lying snow for almost two years aswell as some very low overnight temperatures. This spell of cold weather progressed for much of the first half of that month with some places of the UK enjoying their best snowfalls in years. With a milder period during the middle of the month, Christmas saw a cool anticyclonic period for some parts of the North and the period following Christmas Day saw yet another notable cold spell. To finish of 2008, the UK was under a pretty cold air mass which saw temperatures in the Highlands drop to below -10C. This cold spell lasted well into the first 5 days of the New Year. Despite some snowfall events the long cold spell failed to succeed in bringing widespread snowfall. For the rest of the month, periods of cold and mild would overlap each other until the end of the month.......

Late January 2009 saw the media and meterologists take interest in a potentially very signficant event. With very cold uppers from the freezing European continent over the North Sea, the Met Office issued out not only an extreme weather warning, but an extreme warning for heavy snow - something that seemed impossible until 2009. As the attention from the UK's Media grew, it was now obvious that a very special convective easterly was about to develop (something that had not been seen since 1993). A classic Thames Estuary Streamer and plenty of convective showers heading into Eastern parts of the UK during Febuary the 1st saw the News crews and organisations of the UK reporting the event as if it had never happened before. Come the 2nd of Febuary 2009, most of the East of the UK had been convered with snow with some very large depths in the South East. This event even brought me my best snow since March 2006. However, this seemingly amazing and unusual event saw an incredible interest from the English people and media with record breaking ratings for BBC 6 o'Clock News.

A cold winter thus far and one very severe event, forecasters however warned that there would be amlost an end to the event with warmer air from the South travelling north and bringing more rainy precipitation. However this event was over estimated for Scotland where the predicted 20cm never fell and the meltdown in parts of the South and West instead turned into a snowfest - albeit marginal. For the following days that week there would be continous hyped up coverage from the media about large snowfalls in the Southern Half of the UK. However there was great uncertainty about what would happen afterwards. The weekend was quite with snow showers in the Northern Coasts of Scotland until a front met the cold air in the North - dumping 10-20cm in places. The period following this saw a battle between cold and milder air with some large snowfall events. Once the mild evidently won, the snow remained on the ground in the North - and stayed there for quite some time.

Although there would be a few snowfalls in the period that followed that exceptional spell, really that was the highlight of the winter and Channel 4 thought it would be neccesary to do a programme called snow storm. What they and the media and the people of the UK didn't know was what was to follow the coldest the winter in 20 years.

I don't really need explaining what happened in the following winters but in the build up and the beginning of those really exceptional spells, the usual media hype would build and for once there was a sense of deja vu. However these cold spells would completely change our concepts of winter with larger snowfalls, colder temperatures and consequently longer freezes. Infact, Scotland almost experienced it's coldest winter ever in 2009/2010 and the December of the following winter would be the coldest in the UK for more than a 100 years.

These exceptional winters that we've had aswell as the absence of Long Range forecasting from the Met office has opened a window of oppurtunity for other weather forecasters and organisations to make or break their potential with long range forecasts - particulary for winter. With recent forecasts from James Madden, the idea of a cold and snowy winter now seems possible after the two recent one and news papers such as the Express and Mail are publisish extreme articles about upcoming Siberian Weather. More respected weather organistions are perhaps hinting at a modest average to slightly below average winter and some lesser known organistations with less extreme methods and theories than the likes of Piers Corbyn and James Madden are going for potentially another winter with a severe cold spell.

With all this publicity aswell as the reality of what we've exprienced in recent winters, some people feel that we may be heading in the direction of winter prior to 1988. With lower sun activity aswell as some other theories, some well respected organisations have hinted at the possibilty of perhaps an increase of colder than average winters in the future. This also lead to the idea of a Mini Ice Age. With so much excitement amongst the media, some forecasters and the general pubilc, we've seen the governemnt and other organisations also making moves about potentially another severe winter this year for future winters. With extra preperation with salt quanties aswell as adverts about winter tyres and a BBC Programme about snow, it seems that now we are more aware that severe winters can happen in the 21st Century and perhaps this one could be severe.

With the start of winter not indicating any real hint of a repeat of the last two winters, we basically need to wait and see, but there is interest amongst some organisations predicting some notable cold in the middle of December and there seems to be some vauge agreement that January and Febuary could be quite interesting this year and a colder January and Febuary always opens the door to hopes about a repeat of 1946/1947 or 1962/1963.

A 1946/1947 OR 1962/1963 STYLE WINTER?

We all thought the past two winters were bad - right? Although December 2010 was the coldest December on record it didn't have -20C in Glasgow and Edinburgh in winters such as 1995 and 1981. It also didn't deliver the same crazy amounts of snow that happened in 1947 although many NE areas saw some depths of more than 2 feet. But realisticly we didn't cope with not even with just a third of the winter which saw snow depths and temperatures that don't beat some other notable spells. Although for Scotland 2009/2010 was the coldest since 1962/1963 that period that followed the cold in January 2010 saw the only "real" cold restricted to Scotland and 1962/1963 wasn't quite as notable in Scotland than it was further south. Still you can't really compare 1962/1963 to 2009/2010 as the latter wasn't quite as snowy or as cold as the classic - but somehow it seemed more distruptive!

I'd Like to Know How A modern day Britain would cope with a winter which had atleast two months of very cold temperatures, constant snowfalls with some unimaginable depths? How would the country cope with the effects on our schools, economy, heat and gas, transport and cut off communities?

Also, how much snow is too much snow in a 21st Century Britain?

TIME TO DEBATE!

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I think the problem these days would be the fact that we're a lot less "local" - ie, food doesn't come from local farmers, butchers etc, people travel long distances to work (and some schools), whether by car/train, lots of people travel abroad for Xmas or skiing trips and we're so far removed from living basic, simple lives now that we'd struggle big time....don't think I would though, I'd love the simplistic way of life and how communities tend to pull together in times of need....but that's just simple me!

Would just like to add I know zilch about weather but have an avid interest and since finding these forums a couple of mths back I've become a bit obsessed, lol! Also learnt a little bit too, amazing stuff!

H x

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you would cope and cope pretty well IMO..after the initial messing round it would become the norm..everybody and everything adapts..every winter in Canada is like 1963 but life goes on as normal.

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It would depend on the frequency of the snowfall. Here last year most of the snow fell over 1 event; namely November 30th/1stDecember 2011. For the best part of that one day the major supermarkets were stuck with the skeleton staff from overnight shifts, most of the major banks didn't open, or if they did very late in the day - essentially the only traffic that dare venture onto the roads were HGVs, Jeeps and Range Rovers. Throughout that day the major roads were cleared through usage and some ploughing - so that the following day life was back to normal - ASSUMING you lived on or closer to a main road. The majority of roads were covered in thick snow and ice for up to 3 weeks - but no further significant snow fell so roads over time became more accessible due to slow melt and wheel tracks.

That will always be the over-riding factor. One-off events - life catches up if there is no significant top-ups. If throughout December 2010 there were numerous snowfall that would have been a different story altogether.

The councils are good at clearing major roads despite what is written about them.

I wasn't around in the years mentioned in this thread,but if there was repeatedly frequent heavy snow every other day then... no perhaps we couldn't cope. But there are many many millions of cars on the road these days and travelling further so roads would clear quicker - assuming people could get out their own side streets.

Getting out your own side street requires knocking on your neighbours door - but how many of you speak to your neighbour these days?

EDIT: However that last point, when everyone was in the same boat unable to leave their own homes - I spoke with people I had never spoken to before and people just generally dug themselves out. No-one can afford to miss more than one day off work!

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I honestly think we'd cope better. Britain has never dealt with snow very well, but if we did experience a very prolonged, snowy winter like 47 or 63, then we would eventually just adapt, there'd be utter chaos in the first few days, or first week, but after then it probably wouldn't be a big deal at all.

Also, I have to say, that even colder, snowier countries like Sweden and Canada still experience chaos when it snows, especially the first snowfall of winter, let us not forget Toronto ordered in the army a few years back!

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1963 really wasn't all that much of a snowy winter. It was really just notable for the cold and penetrating frosts. The east and south east were hit quite badly on 26th December 62' and the south west February 1963. It was extremely dry across Northern Scotland as a result of the prevailing easterly winds.

1963 the country would cope fine in general as most of the major cities, just like then were kept snow free. 1947 and 1955 on the other hand would cause some major issues.

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The thread is about how would we cope with those type of winters but how would we cope with a January 1940 type freezing rain event? I think it would be a disaster. Snow is a big problem but ice is even worse. You can dig and plough snow but you can't do that with ice. Travel would not be possible, trying to walk to the shops for provisions would be a nightmare, hospitals would be coping with an increase in bone breakages through slipping, power outages would be numerous.

God help us if we get an event on that scale as we did in January 1940.

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Interesting report on the subject from The Scotsman, Published on Friday 8 January 2010

This week, First Minister Alex Salmond officially declared this to be the worst winter since 1963, which, in turn, was the coldest winter recorded since 1740. As the country flounders in snowdrifts, black ice and conditions so cold they have been described as Arctic, officials are concerned about how Scots will cope. But how did we cope back then, without round-the-clock weather news, central heating as standard and all the modern luxuries we have become accustomed to?

"We made do with a lot more simple things," says Professor Alexander Gardner, a psychologist and contributor to the recent BBC series Weather and Mood. "It was a very basic society we lived in and we were able to cope with the climate and the weather in fairly simple ways. We've become pretty well mollycoddled these days and, of course, when things go wrong we don't cope very well."

wakesnow.jpg

In 1963, even basics such as central heating were a luxury available to very few, according to Alistair MacIntyre, senior partner at McInnes Gardner architects in Glasgow. "Nearly all houses now are centrally heated, whereas back in 1963 that was still relatively rare," he says. "In those days you just threw bucketloads of coal on to things, and even then the heat was often squished out through holes in doors and windows. Houses were much less efficient at keeping in the heat."

Many had only a single gas fire, and there was a constant fear of pipes bursting, because cold water tanks often froze in temperatures so low that birds literally dropped off their perches, killed by the cold and lack of natural food. The situation became so bad that by mid-January 1963, Glasgow and Edinburgh city corporations were sending round carts in order to provide people with fresh drinking water. Indeed, many modern commodities that we now take for granted suffered severely in the weather: power lines often went down, and in January parts of Berwickshire were regularly without electricity for hours at a time. "Water pipes, electricity and phone lines struggled," says Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society. "Modern pipes are buried deep, but pipes used to be shallower, so more prone to freezing."

But although some of the more modern technology caused problems, the building structures themselves were often sounder. "Houses were built to last longer in the Sixties," says Mr MacIntyre. "Technological change wasn't so quick. Modern buildings aren't designed to last too long, because they might be replaced in 20 to 25 years. Modern materials aren't as robust as the natural materials like stone in which more houses were built back then – and they're much more likely to survive poor weather conditions."

In rural areas in 1963, one problem was huge snowdrifts, which meant people had severe problems getting around. In January 1963, the Scottish train system was thrown into chaos after an avalanche piled hundred of tons of snow on to a quarter-mile stretch of railway line in Roxburghshire. More than 150 British Rail workers attempted to clear the line using dynamite, but it took several days for the train service to get up and running again. Roads were often blocked for days or even weeks – and in a country with hardly any motorways (the first motorway in Britain was built in 1959), snow on the roads became much more of a problem far more quickly. By early January, all roads north of Fort William were affected by snow, with major arteries, such as the Brechin-Banchory road, completely blocked.

But, say those who were there, such issues were of less concern then than they perhaps might be now. Many more people worked close to where they lived, and long commutes by train, by car, or by bus were rare. "People didn't depend so much on services then," says Mark Liddle, 67, the founder of the Scottish youth organisation Young Scot, who grew up in Orkney in the 1950s. "We had snow like that quite often around that time and local people would help clear the roads where we were. Local farmers used to take a tractor out to the shops and take food to people who were cut off by the snow. My dad, like many people in those days, had his own generator in case the power lines went down. It was a different time."

Mr Liddle's own experience of being cut off by the snow made a lasting impression on him. "I'd just started at the local high school, and there was a huge snowfall and I couldn't make the nine miles home to my family," he says. "I ended up staying in a local youth hostel with a group of telephone engineers from the mainland who couldn't get home either. We were there for about five weeks in the end. Fortunately, because they were engineers, the phone was working so I was able to get in touch with my mum and reverse the charges. She phoned the local paper shop in Kirkwall and they gave me a credit line so I could buy shirts, pants and socks. They even gave me pocket money."

Mr Liddle remembers that there was a strong feeling of community spirit when weather conditions were adverse. "In those days people were very attentive and concerned for their neighbours. And, of course, my mother shopped at that paper shop for the rest of her life."

In 1963, however, shopping brought its own struggles. The Scotsman reported in early January that the Retail Fruit Trade Association had issued a statement warning against the panic-buying of potatoes. "Even with stocks at a low ebb and replenishments hampered by transport difficulties, supplies should be sufficient for immediate needs," it stated. However, the newspaper revealed, prices would go up for "almost all vegetables". Milk supplies were also threatened, with calls for the return of empty milk bottles (which were a delight to children during the previous severe British winter, in 1947, when they would freeze solid and children would smash the glass and suck the frozen milk like a lollipop).

"They certainly had much less in the way of resources back then," says Prof Gardner. "But they coped better, partly because they managed to maintain a simplicity of life. These days, the pace of modern living with both partners of a modern household working, tends to encourage things like fast food, opening a tin, rather than doing a bit of cooking with basic ingredients. The problem with fast food and convenience is that it's the sort of system that breaks down when we have weather conditions like this." But there was still plenty of time for fun. 1963 was the perfect year for the bonspiel – outdoor curling competitions that take place on frozen lochs (the ice must be a hefty 7in thick) – with curling tournaments taking place across Scotland from the Lake of Menteith to Loch Earn. And curling wasn't the only phenomenon taking place on the icy rivers: ice yachting also took off, with enthusiasts taking yachts with wheels out on to the ice.

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Sledging was also an incredibly popular pursuit. Prof Gardner remembers his wife taking a particularly daring sledging ride during the long winter of 1963. "My wife, heavily pregnant, sat on a large shovel and skied down a slope. I wouldn't encourage people to do it, but she liked sledging and she couldn't go on to an actual sledge because of the bump, so she sat on a large shovel that we'd used for shovelling snow instead.

"That was on 26 January. The next day, my first son was born." It is hard to imagine such things taking place in today's health and safety-conscious environment. "We start to look for a degree of creature comfort in everything we do now," says Prof Gardner. "If you haven't had the experience to cope with the kind of problems presented by bad weather and snow, you'll find it more difficult to do so when it does finally arrive."

But perhaps when it comes to coping with the snow, things haven't changed that much after all. During research for this story, a call was placed to Scottish Building Standards to discuss the change in standards of homes in regards to insulation. Unfortunately, nobody at Scottish Building Standards was able to take the call: everyone had been sent home because the central heating had broken down due to the freezing weather.

Sound familiar?

PRIOR to 1963, the winter of 1947 was the benchmark for cold, snow, and hardship. In fact, temperatures were lower, and for longer, in the Sixties, but, according to www.weatheronline.co.uk, "snow fell more frequently and in larger quantities, the east wind blew harder and stronger, and sunshine was a severely-rationed commodity – not available even on the black market."

From 22 January to 17 March, snow fell daily somewhere in the UK, and temperatures rarely rose more than a degree or two above zero.

The Met Office website (www.metoffice.gov.uk) reports: "A notable feature of February 1947 was dry conditions in parts of western Scotland. Because of the persistent anticyclonic conditions, some places that were normally very wet had no rain at all. "A completely dry month in western Scotland is unusual, and was unprecedented for February. Another unusual feature was cloudiness in the Midlands and south of England – a complete contrast to the north-west of Scotland, where the weather was unusually sunny."

Then, on 10 and 11 March, the heaviest snowfall of the winter fell on southern Scotland, and the next day the Highlands reported drifts more than seven metres deep. When you consider that Britain's economy was shaky because the country had only recently emerged from the Second World War, and that many essential items were still rationed, it's hard to imagine how people coped from day to day. Food – including potatoes – clothing and fuel were in short supply, while central heating, insulation and double glazing were virtually non-existent.

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Transport links between England and Scotland were paralysed. Ports were frozen, and power cuts were the norm. Newspapers and magazines shrunk or closed down for the duration, while radio broadcast hours were also curtailed.

According to one report, homeowners – allocated just 19 hours of electricity per day by the government – were warned to keep an eye on flickering gas flames, which might go out due to the reduction in gas pressure, leading to poisoning or explosions. In the Borders, hay was dropped from aircraft to feed starving livestock. Nevertheless, the weather had a devastating effect on the sheep population, which dropped by more than 900,000 animals, according to the Department of Agriculture's June census. It took six years for livestock numbers to recover across Britain.

http://www.scotsman....e_cope_1_785332

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I have one question.

How many polls is it possible for A Winters Tale to create on the subject of winter?

1

2

3

4

5

5+

10+

100+

Infinity+

:p:rofl:

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I have one question.

How many polls is it possible for A Winters Tale to create on the subject of winter?

1

2

3

4

5

5+

10+

100+

Infinity+

:p:rofl:

I don't mind :p I love winter and snow and cold and will never get tired of AWT creating threads :D

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I don't mind :p I love winter and snow and cold and will never get tired of AWT creating threads :D

I am not complaining :)

I just worry what will happen to him if we do not have a severe winter! :help::crazy:

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I am not complaining :)

I just worry what will happen to him if we do not have a severe winter! :help::crazy:

Perhaps he alter ego is 'MrCrazySnowfan'? :D We'd need to find a straight jacket and some sedatives and bury him in an igloo until spring?

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Perhaps he alter ego is 'MrCrazySnowfan'? :D We'd need to find a straight jacket and some sedatives and bury him in an igloo until spring?

I am thinking burial in the Greenland Icesheet, it is only fair to society.

Who knows what he could do if let out on the streets during a bartlett! :bomb: :excl:

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I suspect as a country, we wouldn't cope very well.

Extracts from the Manchester Guardian booklet "The Long Winter 1962-3"

30th December

At least five people died in snowstorms over southern England, two of them from suffocation after spending the night in a car under a drift. More than 200 roads were blocked and it is estimated that 95,000 miles of roads were snowbound. Things were worst in the West Country, where drifts were up to 15ft. deep. Only the Tamar bridge linked Devon with Cornwall. Helicopters were called to assist people trapped in North Devon. In Kent it took one man 90 minutes to drive 440 yards. The Meteorological Office reported signs of a thaw.

31st December

Five more deaths occurred, and in Devon conditions were already comparable to those of 1947. Two thousand ponies had been buried under drifts in Dartmoor for three days and an unknown number of sheep were in similar plight. In the north there was a gale which brought down a 200ft. chimney in Rochdale. Men at 26 power stations decided to ban overtime and work to rule which meant, according to their spokesman, Mr Charles Doyle that "roughly one-third of the electricity supply industry" was affected. The Meteorological Office reported that seven towns had beaten the December sunshine record of 100.1 hours, which had existed since 1917. At the same time, it decided that there wasn't, after all, going to be a thaw.

1st January

Continuing blizzards over the South of England were described as the worst for 82 years. (on January 18, 1881, according to legend, there was a 15ft. snow drift in Oxford Circus). Dozens of villages were cut off and helicopters were used to drop fodder and other supplies to isolated communities in the West. One flight was made with milk and food for a children's nursery in Dorset. More than 500 lorries from all parts of the country were queuing for rock salt at a mine in Cheshire. The National Dairy Council suggested that so many empty milk bottles had been lost in the snow that there might not be enough full ones to go round.

2nd January

It was snowing hard in nine counties south of the Kent-Somerset line and an Automobile Association spokesman reckoned that "the only thing travelling up the M1 is snow". Four more deaths were attributable to the weather. Men at another eleven power stations joined the work-to-rule movement. Vegetable prices began to rise rapidly.

3rd January

A slight thaw came to parts of Europe, excluding Britain, where the blizzard spread northwards. A Royal Automobile Club official, not to be outdone by the fluency of the A.A. said that "the Peak District looks like the Alps" and Pennine villages became isolated. In Somerset the railway line between Minehead and Taunton was blocked by a train stuck in a snowdrift, another train in the area was abandoned by its crew, who took refuge in a farmhouse, and rail conditions in the West were so bad that priority was given to trains carrying food, coal, oil and petrol. Fifty B.E.A. flights were cancelled at London Airport, Gatwick was closed and London dairies began drawing on emergency stocks. It was reported 20,000 driving tests had been cancelled during the week. The unions recommended an official work-to-rule in all power stations.

4th January

A slight thaw came to parts of Europe, excluding Britain, where the blizzard spread northwards. A Royal Automobile Club official, not to be outdone by the fluency of the A.A. said that "the Peak District looks like the Alps" and Pennine villages became isolated. In Somerset the railway line between Minehead and Taunton was blocked by a train stuck in a snowdrift, another train in the area was abandoned by its crew, who took refuge in a farmhouse, and rail conditions in the West were so bad that priority was given to trains carrying food, coal, oil and petrol. Fifty B.E.A. flights were cancelled at London Airport, Gatwick was closed and London dairies began drawing on emergency stocks. It was reported 20,000 driving tests had been cancelled during the week. The unions recommended an official work-to-rule in all power stations.

6th January

Dynamite was used after an avalanche had blocked the railway line from Edinburgh to Carlisle near Galashiels and 1,300 sheep, ponies, and bullocks were dug out of drifts on Dartmoor. A lifeboat from a coaster which had been missing since December 28 on a voyage from Swansea to Rouen was found near Land's End.

7th January

At Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire, the temperature fell to -22deg.C. It was noticed that sheep were being eaten alive by foxes on Dartmoor and it was feared that hungry ponies might attack people carrying food in the New Forest. At Billesdon, in Leicestershire, dustbins began to freeze on to the fingers of the dustmen.

8th January

The rearranged F.A. Cup Ties were again postponed; 145 out of 211 Cup and League fixtures had suffered this fate in 19 days. It was decided to move the final England Rugby Union trial from Twickenham to Torquay, where things might be balmier. In Scotland aircraft dropped 96 bales of hay to animals near Hawick.

11th January

Shop stewards representing the London power stations met on a day of reduced voltage throughout the country and voted for " a more rigid

application" of the work-to-rule. Candles were ready on the table during the meeting lest the worst should befall. Football pools were again cancelled. Bristol harbour froze, and so did Britain's second fastest flowing river - the Arun, in Sussex.

13th January

The Central Electricity Generating Board asked housewives to postpone the morning's washing - or, at least, the ironing until later in the week. Thousands of homes in the London area were without electricity, among them Mr Charles Doyle's. The Southern Region of British Railways announced there would be a 50 per cent reduction of heating on its electric trains. Two more people died as a result of the weather.

14th January

Three people were gassed after the frost had burst mains and 20 others were taken to hospital. Workmen at three London power stations suspended their work-to-rule campaign, but much of the city was still blacked out and the Ministry of Works stopped the fountains in Trafalgar Square. Over 5000 children were sent home in Portsmouth, where twenty schools were closed because of frozen lavatories. Seagulls were frozen into the water in Poole Harbour.

15th January

Eight more people were gassed as a result of burst mains, five of them in one family in Salford.

16th January

A compromise was reached in the dispute over wages which led to the work-to-rule in power stations. For the twenty-fifth consecutive day the temperature in London was below -4deg.C., the only comparable spells there being runs of 24 days in 1890 and 1895. Blizzards swept over the Yorkshire Moors and 100 vehicles were abandoned on the road between Whitby and Pickering. The A39 at Porlock Hill in Devon was blocked for the twenty-first day in succession.

17th January

In spite of the pay settlement the work to rule continued unofficially in some power stations. This together with a record demand for power in the area, caused yet another blackout in South-east England. At the laying of a foundation stone in Nottingham a brazier had to be lit to stop the concrete from freezing.

18th January

Blizzards virtually cut Scotland off from England and more than 200 vehicles were abandoned on Stainmore in Westmorland. Locomotives in the Western Region began to freeze up while they were running. In Gloucestershire a woman was found frozen to death outside her cottage. But the chilliest news of the day was of the death of Mr. Gaitskell.

20th January

After a week of blizzards in most parts of Britain conditions were worse than ever. In only six of the 86 counties (excepting Northern Ireland) were roads free from blocks and stranded vehicles. Helicopters evacuated 300 workmen from the Fylingdales early-warning station. Two climbers were killed by an avalanche in the Chew Valley, near Oldham, a walker died some miles away near Ramsbottom, and a man was found dead in a stranded car near Blackburn. Ice floes in the Bristol Channel stopped the Beachley Ferry. Two coachloads of people stuck all night in a snowdrift were rescued in Derbyshire, and trains were trapped in drifts in Hertfordshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. Forty lorry drivers spent their third night in hotels or cafes between Bowes (Yorkshire) and Brough (Westmorland), and 23 men were saved from a Lebanese vessel which went aground at South Shields. London Airport was closed and the Pools Promoters Association, after another blank Saturday, decided that more drastic measures were required. From now on, even if more than 30 football matches were postponed, the weekly gamble would be possible. A panel of experts would produce a hypothetical result for the unplayed games.

22nd January

For the first time since 1947 large patches of ice were seen drifting in the Mersey off Liverpool and pack ice was also reported from the Solent, the Humber, and from East Anglia. At Eastbourne the sea froze 100 feet offshore along a two-mile stretch of the coast. Gas supplies were cut off from industry in South Wales after the Wales Gas Board had reported an unprecedented demand. Seven more deaths were attributed to the weather.

23rd January

On what was generally described as the coldest night of the winter, the British Insurance Association estimated that already the weather had cost more than £5M in claims. Two hundred London buses were put out of action when their fuel froze. Two more people died from the cold. The Mancunian Express took nearly ten hours to get from Euston to Manchester- a journey it generally completes in just over three and a half hours.

24th January

There was more chaos on the railways as diesel fuel, coal, points and water troughs froze. Passengers travelling in one train from St.Pancras to Manchester took only ten minutes short of twelve hours to cover the 189

miles. They were lucky. Many trains didn't run at all. Fifty families were evacuated from a block of flats in Streatham because they were too hot; there was a fault in the central-heating system. On the other side of London bonfires were lit in the streets of Paddington to prevent water freezing in the stand pipes. Cabinet met to discuss emergency measures.

25th January

There was more chaos on the railways as diesel fuel, coal, points and water troughs froze. Passengers travelling in one train from St.Pancras to Manchester took only ten minutes short of twelve hours to cover the 189 miles. They were lucky. Many trains didn't run at all. Fifty families were evacuated from a block of flats in Streatham because they were too hot; there was a fault in the central-heating system. On the other side of London bonfires were lit in the streets of Paddington to prevent water freezing in the stand pipes. Cabinet met to discuss emergency measures.

27th January

A week-end thaw coincided with the worst power failure in the National Grid in 35 years of operation. The East Midlands was cut off from the North and South and there were widespread power failures. But the thaw allowed the National Coal Board to get supplies moving again. After water mains had burst, there was flooding in London (where firemen dealt with 1473 cases during the weekend), Cambourne and Oxford (where several hundred books were damaged in the library of Trinity College). A 45lb lamb was roasted on the Oulton Broad, Norfolk - then it was taken away in a hurry because the charcoal was melting the ice. In the same county an amateur forecaster who had accurately predicted a severe winter last September suddenly decided that the summer would be "so hot people would be dropping dead from the heat".

28th January

The slow thaw continued and a new hazard arose. Trains were diverted at Caerphilly after 10 tons of ice had dropped from a ventilating shaft; and at Torpantau, Brecon, where 50 tons overhung a tunnel mouth. Derbyshire County Council decided to use 400 lb of gelignite to blow up a snow cornice hanging 200 feet above the Snake pass which had been closed to traffic between Manchester and Sheffield for 11 days. The British Insurance Association revised its estimate of winter claims. These, it now reckoned, would amount to £15M. In Liverpool, it was said that the cost of snow clearance was by now £95,000 - almost twice as much as in 1947.

February 1st

The slow thaw ended and there were snow showers in central and southern England; in West Sussex three inches fell in an hour. On the eve of another chill Saturday, the number of football matches cancelled since December 22

approached 400.

February 4th

Cornwall and Pembroke were cut off by blizzards; 50 people spent the night in a train on the edge of Dartmoor and 70 lorry drivers took refuge in a school at Whiddon Down, between Exeter and Okehampton, after being surrounded by deep drifts. In Wales, Llanelli was isolated. In Scotland 150 lorry drivers, caught between Lanark and Abington, took to a public hall for the night; two school buses were stuck in Midlothian, the children being rescued by farmers; and passengers in three buses stranded at Drumgoyne were sheltered at Killearn Hospital. Twelve school-children had to be found accommodation in Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, when drifts stopped their bus.

February 6th

The blizzards continued in the North. A helicopter rescued passengers from a train stuck overnight at Barrhill, Ayrshire, and another train was dug out of a drift at Disley, Cheshire. A third arrived in Stranraer 17 1/2 hours late from London. Nearly 1,000 vehicles were trapped on the Great North Road near Alnwick, a snowplough got stuck in a drift in Perthshire, and Edinburgh was cut off. In the West Country a thaw brought danger of flooding. Devon Water Board ordered a 24-hour watch on all rivers, and in Plymouth the Services planned a flood-relief operation, using helicopters and amphibious vehicles. In Essex it was feared the seven weeks of frost had killed between 60 and 70 per cent of the local oyster beds.

February 7th

Only two roads were open between England and Scotland, and in Edinburgh the snow was said to be " so thick in places that people were walking about on the hedges". At Belfast's airport, staff were marooned for the night and helicopters flew food supplies to isolated villages in County Londonderry. Devon River Board chief engineer, in a broadcast, said he expected rivers in the county to burst their banks within 24 hours. Police dynamited ice on the Exe to prevent flooding and children were evacuated from a school at Crediton. At East Grinstead, in Sussex, foxes began to hunt in pairs in the town centre and cat owners were advised to keep their pets indoors. Another death was reported.

February 8th

There was a general thaw except in Scotland, North-east England, and North Devon, where a sudden reversion prevented the expected flooding of rivers. Five villages in the Border counties were still cut off and 108 main roads in Britain remained blocked. More helicopter flights took place in Northern Ireland, where farmers prepared to slaughter 1,500 pigs because they had run out of feeding stuffs. There was another death.

February 10th

There was a general thaw except in Scotland, North-east England, and North Devon, where a sudden reversion prevented the expected flooding of rivers. Five villages in the Border counties were still cut off and 108 main roads in Britain remained blocked. More helicopter flights took place in Northern Ireland, where farmers prepared to slaughter 1,500 pigs because they had run out of feeding stuffs. There was another death.

February 11th

The Air Ministry decided that the cold spell would not end "for quite a long time to come", while troops with bulldozers struggled through snow drifts to relieve five farms in West Carmarthanshire. The Scottish Football League Management Committee, anxious that 1963 should remain a unique experience, proposed that in future the close season should extend from December 7 until the first Saturday in March.

February 13th

The Meteorological Office prophesised that temperatures would shortly rise in all parts of Britain, and Devon's flood-emergency plan was again brought out of the cold. In the North-west stocks of house coal were "almost exhausted".

February 14th

Devon got its floods at last and so did other parts of the West Country. There was 4ft. of water on the Crediton-Okehampton road, 3ft. between Exeter and Bridgewater, and the same depth on roads between Taunton, Langport and Wantage. The Army sent in eight D.U.K.W.s to Taunton where cars were stranded in the flood water. On the Scottish Border, however, snow conditions were "fearful,", according to the R.A.C., workers at Fylingdales were again marooned, there was more snow in Derbyshire, and a full blizzard

in Hampshire.

February 15th

Once again, the thaw cut out, which at least relieved the threat of disastrous flooding in the West Country, though hundreds of acres in North Dorset and east Somerset were by now under water. There was more snow from Kent to Scotland. Roads were again blocked across the Pennines, over Shap, and in Mid-Wales, North Yorkshire, and Scotland. Conditions were the worst of the winter between Perth and Inverness, where vehicles were buried beneath 15ft. drifts. Water rationing began in Aberystwyth, an emergency it shared with Carmarthen. For the first time since 1947 the Derbyshire Moorland Grazing Committee started an emergency feeding programme for 3,000 starving sheep on the fells.

February 17th

In the South and West hopes rose on a day of brilliant sunshine and all main roads were open across Dartmoor for the first time since Christmas. Things, in fact, looked like getting back to normal everywhere except on the Border and in South and East England where many roads were still blocked. After a snowplough had given up trying to get across Stainmore, an A.A. patrolman leaned on his shovel and struck the roof of a car buried beneath his feet.

February 23rd

More than half the football League games were played and for the first time since December 28, the pools functioned without the hypothetical results of the experts. It was sunny throughout the country and only in the South-east were temperatures as low as 1deg. C. In this area there was more snow in the early morning. It was to be the last of the official winter period.

March 1st

After three days, disastrous heath fires on the Isle of Skye were brought under control. In the north of the Island they had swept across a seven-mile front; in the south thirty square miles of grazing land were burned and many sheep on them. They had been caused by two things: Skye's lowest February rainfall for thirty years and frost which had shrivelled the grass.

March 2nd

Troops relieved a farm on Dartmoor which had been cut off by 20ft snow drifts for 66 days. With only fourteen Football League Matches postponed, soccer had its best day for eleven weeks. There was still no football at Halifax, but the local club opened its ground as a public ice rink and hundreds skated on it.

March 5th

This was the first night free of frost anywhere in Great Britain since December 22. On March 6 London had its warmest (16deg. C) day since October 25, and temperatures rose sharply throughout the country. This, together with heavy rain, caused flooding on roads in Southern Scotland and the North of England. In Kendal, which had its first rain for 74 days, The River Kent was transformed from an almost dry bed into a 10ft.-deep torrent within 24 hours. And at Shrewsbury the Severn rose more than 5ft. between midnight and breakfast time. The winter was over.

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I suspect as a country, we wouldn't cope very well.

Extracts from the Manchester Guardian booklet "The Long Winter 1962-3"

30th December

At least five people died in snowstorms over southern England, two of them from suffocation after spending the night in a car under a drift. More than 200 roads were blocked and it is estimated that 95,000 miles of roads were snowbound. Things were worst in the West Country, where drifts were up to 15ft. deep. Only the Tamar bridge linked Devon with Cornwall. Helicopters were called to assist people trapped in North Devon. In Kent it took one man 90 minutes to drive 440 yards. The Meteorological Office reported signs of a thaw.

31st December

Five more deaths occurred, and in Devon conditions were already comparable to those of 1947. Two thousand ponies had been buried under drifts in Dartmoor for three days and an unknown number of sheep were in similar plight. In the north there was a gale which brought down a 200ft. chimney in Rochdale. Men at 26 power stations decided to ban overtime and work to rule which meant, according to their spokesman, Mr Charles Doyle that "roughly one-third of the electricity supply industry" was affected. The Meteorological Office reported that seven towns had beaten the December sunshine record of 100.1 hours, which had existed since 1917. At the same time, it decided that there wasn't, after all, going to be a thaw.

1st January

Continuing blizzards over the South of England were described as the worst for 82 years. (on January 18, 1881, according to legend, there was a 15ft. snow drift in Oxford Circus). Dozens of villages were cut off and helicopters were used to drop fodder and other supplies to isolated communities in the West. One flight was made with milk and food for a children's nursery in Dorset. More than 500 lorries from all parts of the country were queuing for rock salt at a mine in Cheshire. The National Dairy Council suggested that so many empty milk bottles had been lost in the snow that there might not be enough full ones to go round.

2nd January

It was snowing hard in nine counties south of the Kent-Somerset line and an Automobile Association spokesman reckoned that "the only thing travelling up the M1 is snow". Four more deaths were attributable to the weather. Men at another eleven power stations joined the work-to-rule movement. Vegetable prices began to rise rapidly.

3rd January

A slight thaw came to parts of Europe, excluding Britain, where the blizzard spread northwards. A Royal Automobile Club official, not to be outdone by the fluency of the A.A. said that "the Peak District looks like the Alps" and Pennine villages became isolated. In Somerset the railway line between Minehead and Taunton was blocked by a train stuck in a snowdrift, another train in the area was abandoned by its crew, who took refuge in a farmhouse, and rail conditions in the West were so bad that priority was given to trains carrying food, coal, oil and petrol. Fifty B.E.A. flights were cancelled at London Airport, Gatwick was closed and London dairies began drawing on emergency stocks. It was reported 20,000 driving tests had been cancelled during the week. The unions recommended an official work-to-rule in all power stations.

4th January

A slight thaw came to parts of Europe, excluding Britain, where the blizzard spread northwards. A Royal Automobile Club official, not to be outdone by the fluency of the A.A. said that "the Peak District looks like the Alps" and Pennine villages became isolated. In Somerset the railway line between Minehead and Taunton was blocked by a train stuck in a snowdrift, another train in the area was abandoned by its crew, who took refuge in a farmhouse, and rail conditions in the West were so bad that priority was given to trains carrying food, coal, oil and petrol. Fifty B.E.A. flights were cancelled at London Airport, Gatwick was closed and London dairies began drawing on emergency stocks. It was reported 20,000 driving tests had been cancelled during the week. The unions recommended an official work-to-rule in all power stations.

6th January

Dynamite was used after an avalanche had blocked the railway line from Edinburgh to Carlisle near Galashiels and 1,300 sheep, ponies, and bullocks were dug out of drifts on Dartmoor. A lifeboat from a coaster which had been missing since December 28 on a voyage from Swansea to Rouen was found near Land's End.

7th January

At Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire, the temperature fell to -22deg.C. It was noticed that sheep were being eaten alive by foxes on Dartmoor and it was feared that hungry ponies might attack people carrying food in the New Forest. At Billesdon, in Leicestershire, dustbins began to freeze on to the fingers of the dustmen.

8th January

The rearranged F.A. Cup Ties were again postponed; 145 out of 211 Cup and League fixtures had suffered this fate in 19 days. It was decided to move the final England Rugby Union trial from Twickenham to Torquay, where things might be balmier. In Scotland aircraft dropped 96 bales of hay to animals near Hawick.

11th January

Shop stewards representing the London power stations met on a day of reduced voltage throughout the country and voted for " a more rigid

application" of the work-to-rule. Candles were ready on the table during the meeting lest the worst should befall. Football pools were again cancelled. Bristol harbour froze, and so did Britain's second fastest flowing river - the Arun, in Sussex.

13th January

The Central Electricity Generating Board asked housewives to postpone the morning's washing - or, at least, the ironing until later in the week. Thousands of homes in the London area were without electricity, among them Mr Charles Doyle's. The Southern Region of British Railways announced there would be a 50 per cent reduction of heating on its electric trains. Two more people died as a result of the weather.

14th January

Three people were gassed after the frost had burst mains and 20 others were taken to hospital. Workmen at three London power stations suspended their work-to-rule campaign, but much of the city was still blacked out and the Ministry of Works stopped the fountains in Trafalgar Square. Over 5000 children were sent home in Portsmouth, where twenty schools were closed because of frozen lavatories. Seagulls were frozen into the water in Poole Harbour.

15th January

Eight more people were gassed as a result of burst mains, five of them in one family in Salford.

16th January

A compromise was reached in the dispute over wages which led to the work-to-rule in power stations. For the twenty-fifth consecutive day the temperature in London was below -4deg.C., the only comparable spells there being runs of 24 days in 1890 and 1895. Blizzards swept over the Yorkshire Moors and 100 vehicles were abandoned on the road between Whitby and Pickering. The A39 at Porlock Hill in Devon was blocked for the twenty-first day in succession.

17th January

In spite of the pay settlement the work to rule continued unofficially in some power stations. This together with a record demand for power in the area, caused yet another blackout in South-east England. At the laying of a foundation stone in Nottingham a brazier had to be lit to stop the concrete from freezing.

18th January

Blizzards virtually cut Scotland off from England and more than 200 vehicles were abandoned on Stainmore in Westmorland. Locomotives in the Western Region began to freeze up while they were running. In Gloucestershire a woman was found frozen to death outside her cottage. But the chilliest news of the day was of the death of Mr. Gaitskell.

20th January

After a week of blizzards in most parts of Britain conditions were worse than ever. In only six of the 86 counties (excepting Northern Ireland) were roads free from blocks and stranded vehicles. Helicopters evacuated 300 workmen from the Fylingdales early-warning station. Two climbers were killed by an avalanche in the Chew Valley, near Oldham, a walker died some miles away near Ramsbottom, and a man was found dead in a stranded car near Blackburn. Ice floes in the Bristol Channel stopped the Beachley Ferry. Two coachloads of people stuck all night in a snowdrift were rescued in Derbyshire, and trains were trapped in drifts in Hertfordshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. Forty lorry drivers spent their third night in hotels or cafes between Bowes (Yorkshire) and Brough (Westmorland), and 23 men were saved from a Lebanese vessel which went aground at South Shields. London Airport was closed and the Pools Promoters Association, after another blank Saturday, decided that more drastic measures were required. From now on, even if more than 30 football matches were postponed, the weekly gamble would be possible. A panel of experts would produce a hypothetical result for the unplayed games.

22nd January

For the first time since 1947 large patches of ice were seen drifting in the Mersey off Liverpool and pack ice was also reported from the Solent, the Humber, and from East Anglia. At Eastbourne the sea froze 100 feet offshore along a two-mile stretch of the coast. Gas supplies were cut off from industry in South Wales after the Wales Gas Board had reported an unprecedented demand. Seven more deaths were attributed to the weather.

23rd January

On what was generally described as the coldest night of the winter, the British Insurance Association estimated that already the weather had cost more than £5M in claims. Two hundred London buses were put out of action when their fuel froze. Two more people died from the cold. The Mancunian Express took nearly ten hours to get from Euston to Manchester- a journey it generally completes in just over three and a half hours.

24th January

There was more chaos on the railways as diesel fuel, coal, points and water troughs froze. Passengers travelling in one train from St.Pancras to Manchester took only ten minutes short of twelve hours to cover the 189

miles. They were lucky. Many trains didn't run at all. Fifty families were evacuated from a block of flats in Streatham because they were too hot; there was a fault in the central-heating system. On the other side of London bonfires were lit in the streets of Paddington to prevent water freezing in the stand pipes. Cabinet met to discuss emergency measures.

25th January

There was more chaos on the railways as diesel fuel, coal, points and water troughs froze. Passengers travelling in one train from St.Pancras to Manchester took only ten minutes short of twelve hours to cover the 189 miles. They were lucky. Many trains didn't run at all. Fifty families were evacuated from a block of flats in Streatham because they were too hot; there was a fault in the central-heating system. On the other side of London bonfires were lit in the streets of Paddington to prevent water freezing in the stand pipes. Cabinet met to discuss emergency measures.

27th January

A week-end thaw coincided with the worst power failure in the National Grid in 35 years of operation. The East Midlands was cut off from the North and South and there were widespread power failures. But the thaw allowed the National Coal Board to get supplies moving again. After water mains had burst, there was flooding in London (where firemen dealt with 1473 cases during the weekend), Cambourne and Oxford (where several hundred books were damaged in the library of Trinity College). A 45lb lamb was roasted on the Oulton Broad, Norfolk - then it was taken away in a hurry because the charcoal was melting the ice. In the same county an amateur forecaster who had accurately predicted a severe winter last September suddenly decided that the summer would be "so hot people would be dropping dead from the heat".

28th January

The slow thaw continued and a new hazard arose. Trains were diverted at Caerphilly after 10 tons of ice had dropped from a ventilating shaft; and at Torpantau, Brecon, where 50 tons overhung a tunnel mouth. Derbyshire County Council decided to use 400 lb of gelignite to blow up a snow cornice hanging 200 feet above the Snake pass which had been closed to traffic between Manchester and Sheffield for 11 days. The British Insurance Association revised its estimate of winter claims. These, it now reckoned, would amount to £15M. In Liverpool, it was said that the cost of snow clearance was by now £95,000 - almost twice as much as in 1947.

February 1st

The slow thaw ended and there were snow showers in central and southern England; in West Sussex three inches fell in an hour. On the eve of another chill Saturday, the number of football matches cancelled since December 22

approached 400.

February 4th

Cornwall and Pembroke were cut off by blizzards; 50 people spent the night in a train on the edge of Dartmoor and 70 lorry drivers took refuge in a school at Whiddon Down, between Exeter and Okehampton, after being surrounded by deep drifts. In Wales, Llanelli was isolated. In Scotland 150 lorry drivers, caught between Lanark and Abington, took to a public hall for the night; two school buses were stuck in Midlothian, the children being rescued by farmers; and passengers in three buses stranded at Drumgoyne were sheltered at Killearn Hospital. Twelve school-children had to be found accommodation in Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, when drifts stopped their bus.

February 6th

The blizzards continued in the North. A helicopter rescued passengers from a train stuck overnight at Barrhill, Ayrshire, and another train was dug out of a drift at Disley, Cheshire. A third arrived in Stranraer 17 1/2 hours late from London. Nearly 1,000 vehicles were trapped on the Great North Road near Alnwick, a snowplough got stuck in a drift in Perthshire, and Edinburgh was cut off. In the West Country a thaw brought danger of flooding. Devon Water Board ordered a 24-hour watch on all rivers, and in Plymouth the Services planned a flood-relief operation, using helicopters and amphibious vehicles. In Essex it was feared the seven weeks of frost had killed between 60 and 70 per cent of the local oyster beds.

February 7th

Only two roads were open between England and Scotland, and in Edinburgh the snow was said to be " so thick in places that people were walking about on the hedges". At Belfast's airport, staff were marooned for the night and helicopters flew food supplies to isolated villages in County Londonderry. Devon River Board chief engineer, in a broadcast, said he expected rivers in the county to burst their banks within 24 hours. Police dynamited ice on the Exe to prevent flooding and children were evacuated from a school at Crediton. At East Grinstead, in Sussex, foxes began to hunt in pairs in the town centre and cat owners were advised to keep their pets indoors. Another death was reported.

February 8th

There was a general thaw except in Scotland, North-east England, and North Devon, where a sudden reversion prevented the expected flooding of rivers. Five villages in the Border counties were still cut off and 108 main roads in Britain remained blocked. More helicopter flights took place in Northern Ireland, where farmers prepared to slaughter 1,500 pigs because they had run out of feeding stuffs. There was another death.

February 10th

There was a general thaw except in Scotland, North-east England, and North Devon, where a sudden reversion prevented the expected flooding of rivers. Five villages in the Border counties were still cut off and 108 main roads in Britain remained blocked. More helicopter flights took place in Northern Ireland, where farmers prepared to slaughter 1,500 pigs because they had run out of feeding stuffs. There was another death.

February 11th

The Air Ministry decided that the cold spell would not end "for quite a long time to come", while troops with bulldozers struggled through snow drifts to relieve five farms in West Carmarthanshire. The Scottish Football League Management Committee, anxious that 1963 should remain a unique experience, proposed that in future the close season should extend from December 7 until the first Saturday in March.

February 13th

The Meteorological Office prophesised that temperatures would shortly rise in all parts of Britain, and Devon's flood-emergency plan was again brought out of the cold. In the North-west stocks of house coal were "almost exhausted".

February 14th

Devon got its floods at last and so did other parts of the West Country. There was 4ft. of water on the Crediton-Okehampton road, 3ft. between Exeter and Bridgewater, and the same depth on roads between Taunton, Langport and Wantage. The Army sent in eight D.U.K.W.s to Taunton where cars were stranded in the flood water. On the Scottish Border, however, snow conditions were "fearful,", according to the R.A.C., workers at Fylingdales were again marooned, there was more snow in Derbyshire, and a full blizzard

in Hampshire.

February 15th

Once again, the thaw cut out, which at least relieved the threat of disastrous flooding in the West Country, though hundreds of acres in North Dorset and east Somerset were by now under water. There was more snow from Kent to Scotland. Roads were again blocked across the Pennines, over Shap, and in Mid-Wales, North Yorkshire, and Scotland. Conditions were the worst of the winter between Perth and Inverness, where vehicles were buried beneath 15ft. drifts. Water rationing began in Aberystwyth, an emergency it shared with Carmarthen. For the first time since 1947 the Derbyshire Moorland Grazing Committee started an emergency feeding programme for 3,000 starving sheep on the fells.

February 17th

In the South and West hopes rose on a day of brilliant sunshine and all main roads were open across Dartmoor for the first time since Christmas. Things, in fact, looked like getting back to normal everywhere except on the Border and in South and East England where many roads were still blocked. After a snowplough had given up trying to get across Stainmore, an A.A. patrolman leaned on his shovel and struck the roof of a car buried beneath his feet.

February 23rd

More than half the football League games were played and for the first time since December 28, the pools functioned without the hypothetical results of the experts. It was sunny throughout the country and only in the South-east were temperatures as low as 1deg. C. In this area there was more snow in the early morning. It was to be the last of the official winter period.

March 1st

After three days, disastrous heath fires on the Isle of Skye were brought under control. In the north of the Island they had swept across a seven-mile front; in the south thirty square miles of grazing land were burned and many sheep on them. They had been caused by two things: Skye's lowest February rainfall for thirty years and frost which had shrivelled the grass.

March 2nd

Troops relieved a farm on Dartmoor which had been cut off by 20ft snow drifts for 66 days. With only fourteen Football League Matches postponed, soccer had its best day for eleven weeks. There was still no football at Halifax, but the local club opened its ground as a public ice rink and hundreds skated on it.

March 5th

This was the first night free of frost anywhere in Great Britain since December 22. On March 6 London had its warmest (16deg. C) day since October 25, and temperatures rose sharply throughout the country. This, together with heavy rain, caused flooding on roads in Southern Scotland and the North of England. In Kendal, which had its first rain for 74 days, The River Kent was transformed from an almost dry bed into a 10ft.-deep torrent within 24 hours. And at Shrewsbury the Severn rose more than 5ft. between midnight and breakfast time. The winter was over.

That's quite scary and it seemed to last forever! I can't really imagine what would happen to us if we experience a winter like that again (though I think we won't).

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That's quite scary and it seemed to last forever! I can't really imagine what would happen to us if we experience a winter like that again (though I think we won't).

Yes its a decent summary of that winter after some folk on here described it not very snowy. Living on the edge of the Peak and working SE of Nottingham I saw weekly how the snow cover changed quite dramatically from home to the place of work. RCAF Langar was snow covered, sometimes several inches from Boxing Day to quite late in February from memory. However at home deep drifts were a major problem in some parts of the area.

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I do not think that we would cope well but i think that we could.

The fact is that the effect of winter weather was amplified due to the poor attitude of Britains the last 2 winters.

If you do not want to slip then start using proper footwear (women especially slipped because of poor footwear) and also use a stick/ski stick to keep your balance.

Forget this cannot get to work rubbish, there are less than 5 days in the past two winters when there have been no bus or train services in Leeds (which has been hit comparatively worse to most, especially in winter 2010). If you cannot drive then get a bus or train.

Buy snow tyres in July when they are dirt cheap.

Bulk by frozen goods and just leave the in the garden.

There are so many things which people can do but did not, instead choosing to blame the government for not gritting enough.

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Well I lived through it all and to be honest while it was cold the Newcastle area escaped reasonably lightly as regards to snow and any really deep falls. Snow fell in November and early December but it started in earnest on boxing night and north of a line from Gosforth which is about 3 miles from where I lived the snow lay non-stop until early March. The winter of 1979 was probably the snowiest as regards depths since 1947 in this area but the cold was not continuous.

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I have one question.

How many polls is it possible for A Winters Tale to create on the subject of winter?

1

2

3

4

5

5+

10+

100+

Infinity+

:p:rofl:

icouldnt help but laugh.

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if it happend we would not have much choice but to cope ,would just have to get on with things maybe help each other out...old folks,ect not much choice when it comes to the weather we cant tell it what to do !

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If I was you I would getting so annoyed at us British folk rabbiting on about snow. I'm just sitting back and being patient. I'm getting a tad annoyed about all these different threads for preety much the same topic. You must be thinking," what's all the hassle I get 63' winters every year"

you would cope and cope pretty well IMO..after the initial messing round it would become the norm..everybody and everything adapts..every winter in Canada is like 1963 but life goes on as normal.

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cheeky monkey is British, lol

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cheeky monkey is British, lol

he does live in Canada though so does get far colder and snowier weather than perhaps even the top of Ben Nevis does!

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Maybe it's time to come back to this thread :-) he he he

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