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62-63


sandstorm2
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Posted
  • Location: Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: Cold snowy winters, warm dry summers
  • Location: Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow

    There has been a bit of chat recently about the winter of 62-63, I am one of the lucky members who remembers it well.

    it really started on xmas eve when I rose in the morning and as a boy of 11 I was delighted to see there had been a large fall of snow and even better the dry stuff. The school holidays had started and the first thing I made for was the large cupboard where the sledge was kept,. I made my way to friends houses who had already got their sledges out and got ourselves to the nearest large hill which was in the local park. This park also had two large ponds which froze over thick enough to skate on.

    This lasted for the best part of 2 months sledging and skating every day after school, coming home frozen well after dark with red rims just below the knees where the wellies chafed the calfs.

    it was agreat age to experience such a winter, I wonder if todays youngsters would have as much fun as I did or would they still be in front of their playstations.

    Regards S2

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    Posted
  • Location: IPSWICH, SUFFOLK
  • Location: IPSWICH, SUFFOLK

    That sounds cool. I remember the 95/96 winter and also 96/97 winter which wasn't too bad. My house was covered with hills and we'd get the black bags and go shooting down the hills and one day we went through some guys fence at the bottom of the hill. He wasn't best pleased and filmed us for evidence.

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    Posted
  • Location: SE London
  • Location: SE London
    There has been a bit of chat recently about the winter of 62-63, I am one of the lucky members who remembers it well.

    it really started on xmas eve when I rose in the morning and as a boy of 11 I was delighted to see there had been a large fall of snow and even better the dry stuff. The school holidays had started and the first thing I made for was the large cupboard where the sledge was kept,. I made my way to friends houses who had already got their sledges out and got ourselves to the nearest large hill which was in the local park. This park also had two large ponds which froze over thick enough to skate on.

    This lasted for the best part of 2 months sledging and skating every day after school, coming home frozen well after dark with red rims just below the knees where the wellies chafed the calfs.

    it was agreat age to experience such a winter, I wonder if todays youngsters would have as much fun as I did or would they still be in front of their playstations.

    Regards S2

    i was born in July '62 so obviously have no memory of that famous winter. i do however have pictures that my dad took and the depth of snow is quite amazing. my best winter memory is of 86/7 i had started in the MoD in September and remember coming back after the xmas break in jan it snowed so much that week we thought it would never stop.
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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

    im not old enough for 62-63 i was born in 1966.

    funny how ppl have different perceptions of winters....i personally dont rate 1987..it only delivered that very cold 10 day spell in mid january and not much else..nor do i rate the winters of 95/6 and 96/7..both really didnt deliver too much in terms of widespread snow.

    for me looking back we had an incredible run of winters from 77/78 through to 86/87..even by the standards of winters that went before, both in terms of snowfall and lengthy cold spells of weather.

    my personal favourite is 78/79..which was characterised by cold snowy weather followed by a short mild spells and thaw then refreeze and more snow again from dec to end of march.

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
    it was agreat age to experience such a winter, I wonder if todays youngsters would have as much fun as I did or would they still be in front of their playstations.

    Regards S2

    The latter i would say! My best memories were that of the early 80's when i experienced the same as you :D (well,similar,not the saem snow depths but harsh/cold weather) Snow that STUCK AROUND,i remember there was still piles of it on the side of the road MONTHS later! Give me that over Playstation any day!

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
    There has been a bit of chat recently about the winter of 62-63, I am one of the lucky members who remembers it well.

    it really started on xmas eve when I rose in the morning and as a boy of 11 I was delighted to see there had been a large fall of snow and even better the dry stuff. The school holidays had started and the first thing I made for was the large cupboard where the sledge was kept,. I made my way to friends houses who had already got their sledges out and got ourselves to the nearest large hill which was in the local park. This park also had two large ponds which froze over thick enough to skate on.

    This lasted for the best part of 2 months sledging and skating every day after school, coming home frozen well after dark with red rims just below the knees where the wellies chafed the calfs.

    it was agreat age to experience such a winter, I wonder if todays youngsters would have as much fun as I did or would they still be in front of their playstations.

    Regards S2

    Thanks sandstorm, an interesting read,

    You mention if kids would have as much fun today as we did as kids when it snowed, it is sad to think that almost a generation of children have grown up in many areas of this country without seeing any significant snow. :o

    I know we didn’t get much snow a week or so back, but we did manage about a cm, or so, now when we were kids, that was enough for us to play in, I can vividly remember me and my friends having great fun, obviously snowballing and making huge slides on the snow, 20 to 30feet long, all the kids in the street would join in and we had hours of fun. While I was out last week I didn’t see 1 child playing in the snow, is that because of TV games and computers, or have they just forgot how to play in snow. :cold:

    I will put in some of my 62-63 winter memories shortly. :)

    Regards

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

    My winter memories of the 60's

    Hi all, ok thought i would pop this in, here are some of my memories of the 1962 / 63 winter.

    It was a long time ago and I was just a kid, my memories are still very vivid.

    I have been interested in the weather as long as I can remember. During that famous winter I was nearly 10, listening to the forecast every day on the BBC home service at 5:55pm in the evenings and on BBC television seemed the most important thing in my life then.

    IMO the forecasts in those days were presented much better then today, and the pressure charts were shown with great enthusiasm by Bert Ford, Jack Scot etc. they were also given more airtime back then, I loved watching their presentations, and sure they contributed greatly to my developing interest in the weather.

    Here is a little snippet from the MO reporting the winds of change; the foundations were just being laid for the biggest freeze of the 20th Century.

    Synoptic Situation at 0600 22/12/1962 next day.

    Strong rises of pressure have occurred on a large scale and the main high over Russia has moved W, 1040mb, over the Baltic States and is expected to move to Denmark. A smaller high W of Ireland, yesterday, has moved NE to SW England and will link with the main European high soon. Front lies down coast of Norway, moving slowly E and its counterpart over Germany and France is moving W as a cold front.’

    The freeze soon got underway and for many days before the significant snow came it indeed turned extremely cold with freezing fog night and day, me and my friends discovered a great way to have fun, by filling buckets with water and throwing them down our garden path, the water froze almost immediately on contact making a huge great slide for me and my friends, we had endless fun. Also the hoar frost and rime had built up to such an extent we were able to go sledging on the nearby fields and this was amazing fun on the solid frozen ground, actually believe it or not, it was faster than on snow. As far as I know this has never been possible since with out snowfall.

    By January cold was so intense that the underground water pipes froze under the road and our water was cut off. I remember my dad having to smash ice out of our soft water tub with a hammer and melt it in the kettle just to get a drink. God knows what we did for a bath!! :o We couldn’t flush the outside toilet, as that had been frozen solid for days, we didn’t have a toilet in doors in those days.

    Eventually the snow arrived here in Burton, one morning I remember looking out of the window, it was cloudy and a few dry flakes were blowing in the wind, but this soon stopped and I was disappointed, but not for long. During the early evening I looked out in to the street and noticed heavy snow blowing past the lamppost. (my first lamppost lol; I sound like a happy dog)

    My wish was coming true, that night I went to bed and each time I woke, all I could here was the sound like sand being blown in to the bedroom windows, I think I must have been out of bed more than a dozen times that night looking out of the window. The snow was coming down so heavy, it looked more like curtains of thick fog; I could barely see the lamppost.

    In the morning I went to look out of the window and to my surprise I couldn’t see through them, because my net curtains had frozen solid to the window, when I finally managed to rip them away, the most incredible site was there to behold, the snow looked as though it was laying in waist deep drifts, I went down stairs opened the main

    curtains to the yard, but hardly any light came in, the snow had drifted so high it had covered the window completely. :lol:

    Probably the set-up that brought the snow (click) This was to be the start of snow on snow, which incredibly didn’t start to melt until early March.

    Obviously most people in those days, didn’t have central heating or double-glazing, electric blankets etc, we just had a coal fire in the living room, which had always gone out by the morning.

    On waking most mornings during that winter, I would have to scrape ice from the inside of my bedroom window to see outside. Even my fish tank froze in my bedroom on one occasion, I remember my dad saying, because

    the hot water bottle had gone cold, he chucked out of the bed during the night, on waking the next morning he found it frozen solid on the bedroom floor. (Kids don’t know their born today lol)

    I suppose today now with all the home comforts we can enjoy any cold weather rather than dread it, as most older people did in those days, having to go without water because the pipes had frozen, not being able to wash / or not wanting to, because it was to cold, outside toilet frozen solid, with only a candle to try and thaw it. I think most people would wish away a winter like that if they lived in those times.

    Like most weather enthusiasts my interest in the weather was probably due to a very notable weather event, my interest only deepened further during 62 / 63, I became totally hooked and I am just as fanatical today.

    Regards

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    great memories there Paul and others. I have posted weather reports for that time as I am old enough to have been working but will do so again tomorrow for the place I was working at. The temperatures are hard to believe. Also I will give my personal impressions of that winter.

    regards

    John

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
    great memories there Paul and others. I have posted weather reports for that time as I am old enough to have been working but will do so again tomorrow for the place I was working at. The temperatures are hard to believe. Also I will give my personal impressions of that winter.

    regards

    John

    thanks John,

    sounds good, will look forward to that :lol:

    Regards

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    hi folks

    well here we go with some memories and data from this famous winter

    My memories of the 1962-63 winter.

    I was working as a weather observer at a Royal Canadian Air Force Base called RCAF Langar, a few miles south of Nottingham, in the Vale of Belvoir.

    My first recollection is that the late autumn was rather cold but beyond that I do not recall anything of note until the weekend before Christmas 1962. High pressure had settled over much of the country and it became quite cold with frost and then dense fog developing. By the late evening this fog had lifted and it was just very cold. I spent Xmas with my parents near Chesterfield and went to Sheffield on the Boxing Day to see Sheffield Wednesday play, or so I thought. The pitch was white over with frost (long before the days of underheating) and the match was called off. By evening it began to snow and that really was the start of that 'famous' winter. As the data below shows the ground at my parents house remained snow covered (more than half cover) until the end of February and at Langar until 8February.

    Travelling backwards and forwards on the old style double decker buses which just had a small heater just behind the driver was a nightmare. The so called heater was rarely on as the driver needed that heat to keep his windscreen clear of ice and frost, and probably himself warm. Sleeping at my parents with just two coal fires downstairs was, compared to the over the top central heating the Canadians had, a cold time. At Langar I slept with the window partly open with just one sheet on me. At home I often had more clothes on than during the day, including woolly hat, gloves and socks along with 2 hot water bottles!

    Some of the minimum temperatures had to be observed to be believed, certainly by the standards of today. Langar was in a slight dip in the Vale of Belvoir and it was not unusual for it to be quoted as the coldest place in Gt Britain. Just look at some of the values on consecutive nights.

    At Langar although we had snow cover for almost 2 months without break the depth was never very much, 5-10cm being the most ever from memory. However it was a different story on the very edge of the Derbyshire Peak at my parent's house. Nothing as bad in terms of depth or drifts as 1947(that is another story I could tell) but often over the tops of Wellington boots in level depth with drifts 4-6 feet deep.

    Really the story of cold is best illustrated by my copies of the daily records from RCAF Langar through that period.

    I hope you enjoy the read. If anyone would like the Excel file for this please pm me.

    and below the data for that winter for Langar

    best wishes

    John

    Data for RCAF Langar for the 1962-1963 winters, with a comparison with 1947

    (temperatures are all in deg C)

    Langar is about 10 miles ese of Nottingham in a slight 'bowl' with minor hills all around it. The diary as such starts on December 26th 1962 and finishes at the end of February 1963.

    General notes

    The ground was snow covered continuously (Met Office definition for =/>half cover) for 44 days from 26.12.62 until 8.2.63

    (At my parent's house near Chesterfield, Derbyshire that was extended until 27th February,

    A total of 63 days).

    The ground at Langar was continuously frozen from 22nd December 1962 until 4th March 1963, a total of 63 days.

    There was an air frost on every night, apart from 4, between 22nd December 1962 and 4th March 1963. (The only nights without frost were; 5.6.28 and 29th January)

    There were 32 consecutive nights with frost from 1st February 1963 to 4th March 1963.

    General notes on rainfall:

    And there was a continuous frost(air temperature constantly below 0C) from 1500Z on 18th January 1963 until 0900Z on 26th January 1963(186 hours); put another way, almost a WHOLE week!!

    There was 3.73 inches of rain (and melted snow) from 1 October 1962 to 28 February 1963

    This = 38% of the average.

    Monthly figures for the start of the cold spell on 22nd December 1962

    Date min max mean

    22 -4.4 2.2 -1.1

    23 -6.1 0.6 -2.8

    24 -9.3 0.0 -4.7

    25 -11.8 -3.9 -7.9

    26 -11.1 2.2 -4.5

    27 -1.4 1.1 -0.2

    28 -7.7 -2.2 -5.0

    29 -5.1 -1.7 -3.4

    30 -1.7 0.0 -0.9

    31 -0.6 0.6 0.0

    Mean temp for 10 days = -3.0C

    Values for January 1963

    Date min max mean

    1 -0.1 0.7 0.3

    2 -1.3 -0.6 -1.0

    3 -0.7 0.5 -0.1

    4 -0.1 1.0 0.5

    5 0.6 1.1 0.9

    6 1.1 1.8 1.5

    7 -3.5 1.3 -1.1

    8 -5.7 0.7 -2.5

    9 -8.0 1.3 -3.4

    10 -6.6 1.5 -2.6

    11 -10.4 -5.0 -7.7

    12 -5.4 -3.3 -4.4

    13 -8.3 0.0 -4.2

    14 -1.4 2.8 0.7

    15 -7.7 2.3 -2.7

    16 -2.7 0.0 -1.4

    17 -9.2 -2.1 -5.7

    18 -13.8 0.9 -6.5

    19 -5.9 -0.3 -3.1

    20 -3.3 -0.8 -2.1

    21 -4.1 -1.4 -2.8

    22 -13.6 -3.4 -8.5

    23 -15.4 -3.3 -9.4

    24 -12.2 -5.6 -8.9

    25 -8.6 -0.6 -4.6

    26 -6.2 5.3 -0.5

    27 -3.9 2.3 -0.8

    28 0.5 2.4 1.5

    29 1.4 2.9 2.2

    30 0.1 1.3 0.7

    31 -1.7 2.5 0.4

    Mean temp for month = -2.4C

    Values for February

    Date min max mean

    1 -3.5 -0.7 -2.1

    2 -9.8 -3.5 -6.7

    3 -6.7 -4.1 -5.4

    4 -10.2 1.6 -4.3

    5 -8.4 0.2 -4.1

    6 -3.7 -0.7 -2.2

    7 -1.6 1.6 0.0

    8 0.0 2.9 1.5

    9 -1.7 2.9 0.6

    10 -1.4 1.7 0.2

    11 -1.8 0.6 -0.6

    12 -0.1 2.1 1.0

    13 -0.7 4.1 1.0

    14 -2.6 1.7 -0.5

    15 -0.1 1.2 0.6

    16 -1.9 0.4 -0.8

    17 -1.7 1.7 0.0

    18 -1.7 2.2 0.3

    19 -1.5 0.3 0.6

    20 -4.8 2.6 -1.1

    21 -3.9 4.1 0.1

    22 -2.1 2.8 0.4

    23 -2.8 1.9 -0.5

    24 -6.7 0.6 -3.1

    25 -9.8 2.2 -3.8

    26 -5.2 4.8 -0.2

    27 -4.6 2.8 -0.9

    28 -3.3 5.4 1.1

    Mean temp for month = -1.1C

    Mean temp for January and February = -1.7C

    Comparison of temperatures at Langar between 1947 and 1963

    1947 January avge min=-1.0 avge max=3.5 mean=1.3

    1963 January avge min=-5.0 avge max=0.2 mean=-2.4

    1947 February avge min=-4.2 avge max=1.5 mean=-2.3

    1963 February avge min=-3.7 avge max=1.8 mean=-0.9

    So for the two months being compared 1947 showed a mean temp of -0.5 and 1963 gave -1.7C

    I cannot get data for frosts and snow for 1947 but for 1963 these were;

    days with snow falling= 20 in Jan and 19 in Feb; lying snow=31 in Jan and 19 in Feb.

    Air frosts in January were 26 and 27 in February.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow , thunderstorms and wind
  • Location: Dublin, ireland

    Thanks for sharing those days.

    It was a great read. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    glad you enjoyed it John, hope others do. It was certainly some winter and I would not want it repeated, certainly not the length of it anyway.

    As a small boy I also have some memories of the 1947 winter which I might put up in the 47 thread, obviously no data though!

    regards

    John

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow , thunderstorms and wind
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
    glad you enjoyed it John, hope others do. It was certainly some winter and I would not want it repeated, certainly not the length of it anyway.

    As a small boy I also have some memories of the 1947 winter which I might put up in the 47 thread, obviously no data though!

    regards

    John

    I would love to experience one just to be able to say that we can get a very cold winter and to take lots of photos for my memories.

    Would love to hear of your 1947 memories John.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

    Thanks John,

    A Great read and some absolutely amazing stats, the whole winter was ridiculously cold, but that period of particular intense cold from the 18th to the 25th January must have been more like living in the Arctic, minimums below –15c and maximums below –5c at times :lol:

    Regards

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
    Thanks John,

    A Great read and some absolutely amazing stats, the whole winter was ridiculously cold, but that period of particular intense cold from the 18th to the 25th January must have been more like living in the Arctic, minimums below –15c and maximums below –5c at times :lol:

    Regards

    Paul

    Hi Paul C and John C

    Yes its the 62-63 winter which made me decide that much as I love to see snow and frost, and 62-63 was a sunny winter, I would not wish that harshness of winter on anyone in the UK again.

    Yes I'll have a go at 47' although it will be as a kid in short trousers there will be no stats from home, but I do have some memories out into summer '47 which I will post in the '47 thread when I get time.

    cheers

    John

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Fantastic memories guys,

    The clearest memory I have of that winter, was waking-up to what I thought was rain on the window (Paul's 'sound of sand' is pretty-much spot on.). I think it must have been right at the end of December... When I looked out the window, I could hardly believe my eyes! The snow was up to an-inch-or-so short of the top of the garden fence... :lol: :lol: :)

    I think it was that sight that made me the anorak I am today! :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    Well, while you safties were tucked up cosy during the winter of 62/3 I was a 15 year old kid doing my paper round. :lol: I lived in Guildford, Surrey at the time and there was so much snow that I couldn't ride the bike round the steets so everything was done on foot. Snow over the welly tops, icy cold, then back to the shop to do a second round for holiday cover. It was the Sunday after Christmas (30th) and I got some great tips from both rounds! Arrived back home about midday, 5 hours after I started and absolutely frozen. I think it was later that winter in Feb/March 63 we also had freezing rain while I was out on the round, 1/2" of wet ice covered everything and extemely treacherous even trying to walk.

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    Posted
  • Location: Douglas, Isle of Man
  • Location: Douglas, Isle of Man

    I have been trying to remember '63, I think it was just before I finished school and started work.

    I remember being sent home from school on a few occasions, I used to travel by bus, but between my brother and I we decided that it was a rush to catch the bus and it was likely the bus would have trouble on the roads so we headed for the train ( 3ft guage steam railway, you could use a bus contract on the train at the time as they were run by the same government board).

    We got a few miles to the next village and all the people off the bus got on the train !. We only had trouble on one slope and got home ok. A lot of snow blocked the roads on the NW side of the Island which took a long time to dig out. When I started work, some others from the firm told of getting stuck on the way home and having to take refuge with customers they knew nearby.

    The first time I remember being stuck in snow and having to stay with relatives near where I worked was about 1967 or 68 ?. That occasion my cousin and I had to get the farm tractor and fore-loader shovel to dig through the drifts to the nearest main road which was being cleared by the highways crew, and the milk round could get out to deliver about 3 hours late. There were cars buried in drifts which we had dug down a couple of feet to find the night before, and marked them with sticks so the snow plough would know there was something there to avoid.

    Edited by Verglas
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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

    Thanks, Verglas and frogesque,

    A couple more interesting accounts, it’s great to read these, there must be many more members who have memories of that famous winter, I bet the Ledbury Lad has a few more stories from 62-63 and 1947.

    Regards

    Paul

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    • 4 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Wow, i would love to experience such a cold winter and find your recolections of that famous winter very interesting.

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    Posted
  • Location: Guess!
  • Location: Guess!

    62/63, I was young, but old enough to remember, in Pontefract, in Yorkshire. However, I remember little of being outside - I got the measels in early Jan and had to have 6 weeks off school, then exactly one week later, I got the mumps and also had 6 weeks off school again!! By then, it was almost spring. I do remember going to school in the week that I was fully well, but being sent straight back home, as the boiler had burst over the weekend and there was no heat! Oh well!

    Paul

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Dawlish, how was the winter of 1963 in Yorkshire, while cold, was it quite snowy in Yorkshire, or sunny ect...?

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    • 11 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Does anybody know what the winter of 1963 was like in Yorkshire??

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