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1967: A bad winter

Kings Road, 1967
Photo by John Leach

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  • I remember it well – I got caught in the snow trying to get back to work. A few of us from the filing dept. at the Alliance Building Society HQ, had gone to Blatchington Road to get cakes as it was a colleagues birthday. It was only snowing lightly when we left but we had to get off the bus on the way there as traffic was getting stuck, so we walked from just south of the railway bridge to Blatchington Road, bought cakes and then started walking back. The snow came down ever thicker and faster making walking and seeing very difficult, and I got separated from the others. When I eventually made it back to work, it was becoming deserted as staff left to try and get to their homes but I was taken to the first aid section suffering from a touch of exposure. Some of us thought we would be staying the night because so many roads had become impassable, especially for those who lived further away. However, the husband of a lady from another department got through and the couple offered to take me home (Links Road), as they lived near me in Portslade and I was very glad to accept their kind offer. It was a slow and slippery journey but we made it. When I got home I found that my sister, Jill, had walked home from the eastern end of New Church Road – in the sandals she was then wont to wear regardless of the weather! My father had the record though, having walked home, from Newhaven. Thanks John for the picture and rekindling the memories

    By Helen Shipley (01/03/2009)
  • I remember this, vividly. I lived in Seaford but was working at Midland Assurance, 20 West Street, Brighton. That morning I’d parked in Madeira Drive as usual and walked along the seafront to the office. Some time later that morning, I recall looking through the front window and noticing snow start to fall. It wasn’t long before buses were sliding sideways down the hill and traffic ground to a halt. I think the manager closed the office early afternoon but it was already too late. My car (and all the others where I’d parked) was under several inches of snow and the roads were blocked with stationary vehicles anyway. Even the snow ploughs were having difficulty moving. I joined hundreds of others on the long walk eastwards along the A259 and recall thinking we looked a bit like a scene from the film Exodus! Eventually reaching Peacheaven, I called at a friend’s house and was glad of the hot drink and food they kindly gave me. Then I set off again and eventually reached Newhaven rail station, where I was delighted to learn the 3pm train from Victoria was expected to arrive shortly, though already many hours late of course. However, the train didn’t actually arrive until some time later, and I would probably have got home earlier if I’d kept walking! I think I eventually got home about 11pm. Thankfully it was a Friday and I was not due to work the following morning, so I had a long lie in. On the Sunday, two of my friends and I (who had all had to leave our cars in the snow) were collected by another friend (the only one to have managed to drive home on the Friday) and we set off to recover our cars from the various locations. Although it was no longer snowing, the roads had several inches of snow on, so progress was slow. When we got to my car and cleared the snow off, I discovered the battery had gone flat. Undeterred, we hitched up ropes to two of my friends’ cars and they towed my car (with me steering it) along Madeira Drive, trying to bump start it. However, the road was so slippery that the tyres wouldn’t grip enough, until we got into The Steine, where most of the snow had been cleared. All that remained was a white knuckle drive home to Seaford. A weekend I’ll never forget!

    By T. Fowler (16/05/2013)

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