22.1.06

Winter chills: 1947 and 1963

Severe winters I was sort of prompted to write a blog about the severity of the weather in 1947 in the UK as I do recall it rather well; and I love this shot of the two folk on a frozen river; I received this info from a friend I write to in Idaho USA who is a Nurse and remarked about the 1947 winter a guy told her about (I reassured her it was the truth) so I did a little research on the subject recalling it. I guess I was around eleven at the time and we had just moved from war ravaged Portsmouth to the countryside in Gloucestershire which is not far from the Cotswold’s. So here I am on a Saturday afternoon at a loose end, and so down the hill into the Valley I go to a little place called Nailsworth just to watch a film at the Cinema the terms Movie and Movie house were not then in general usage by the British population that was American of course and to think most of the world uses them now; unthinkable then of course to a staid British Public. Just a normal winters day minus snow and rain and I was only to glad to get inside and watch what was being screened at the time. Holy Moley when I came out it was a whole new world, it took forever to get home place was so full of snow and huge drifts. I made it of course and no one remarked my being late for a welcome change lol and guess what the whole community was shut off from the outside world; gosh we even had an airdrop of supplies that was a novelty. I even came across a Bus driver with his bus and he had received orders it seems via the local man in charge of law and order ordering him yes ordering him to stay with the bus until the thaw. He was miles off of the road and not a hazard his passengers had long gone poor bloke; I don't know what happened to him honest I do know that Dad still found his way to the Pub. Then I guess after the thaw flooding occurred And now I read on the World Wide Web that there was a colder one afterwards in 1963. I don'’t recall it so I must have lobbed into good old Australia then. It seems that the coldest of the lot was in 1684. Since daily meteorological records began in Britain in the 17th century, there have been a number of severe winters. The coldest of all was probably 1684, when the diarist John Evelyn took a coach to Lambeth along the frozen River Thames. There was an exceptionally cold and protracted winter in 1739/40 when, between November 1739 and May 1740, snow fell on 39 days in the London area. January in both 1795 and 1814 were colder than January 1740, and the month of February in 1855, 1895 and 1947 were colder than February 1740. England and Wales would have to wait 223 years for a winter as cold as 1740: 1963. But what was so remarkable about the 1739/40, however, is that the mean temperatures of both January and February were below 0 °C in the Midlands and southern England. The only other known instance of two successive months with mean temperatures below freezing took place in December 1878 and January 1879.

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