1962: Drifts up to four feet deep

Boxing Day 1962
We had arrived home in Brighton in a hurry from Christmas with our grandparents in Oxfordshire. It had started snowing heavily after lunch, and we had packed amazingly quickly and set off hopefully in our 1954 Hillman Minx over freezing roads.

All the fuses blew!
At Henley-on-Thames the accelerator had stuck in the down position, but somehow we got back home by 7pm. Dad switched on the lights and electric fire – and the main fuse blew ! More snow followed, but on 3 January I set out by train to Lewes and trudged out of the town for a mile or so to the scrapyard where all Brighton’s remaining trolleybuses had gone eighteen months before.

A priceless buy
This little pilgrimage was blessed with the sale to me for the princely sum of two shillings (10p today) of the front number-plate of FUF 1, the last trolleybus. I had apparently appeared on a good day, as usually souvenir hunters (paying or otherwise) were chased off the site!

Snow four feet deep
A day or two later we had a massive further snowfall on the South side of the Downs. Our driveway had drifts up to four feet deep, and it was to be a long time before we took the car out again. No vehicles actually made it up the road for a fortnight.

London Road snarled up
On that first morning, I went down to London Road to find it snarled up totally; the snow was still falling, and all the No 46 buses which would normally have run along Surrenden Road had joined the 5, 5b, 15 and 15b. No-one could tell which was which, as they were all covered in snow, including the destination indicators. (I could tell the difference, as the 46 was run by Brighton Corporation at the time; Brighton Hove and District only used Bristol buses.)

Snowball fights
My brother and I, being the only children living in Cedars Gardens at that time, had snowball fights and built a snowman. It was particularly picturesque in Station Road, where no cars at all ever came. We walked into the centre of Brighton to go shopping, as it was quicker than taking the bus!

Comments about this page

  • My son was born August 1962 and we lived in a bungalow at Crespin Way, Hollingdean and could hardly get out that winter. Too cold to take a baby out in. We had to get up and light the fire for the backboiler. We seemed to take it in our stride back then, just went and got another woolly on to get warm.

    By Elaine Kilshaw (18/01/2010)

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