Disruption and dismay
“THE WEEKEND SIBERIA CAME SOUTH – and bought, death disruption and dismay” emblazoned the headlines of the ‘Brighton and Hove Herald’. The article went on, “Three people died, public transport was paralysed, thousands of cars were abandoned, hundreds of people were unable to reach their homes…. There were long waits for London- Brighton travellers too. After a six hour journey one man got tired of waiting and jumped from a stationary train near Westdene – and ended up in hospital with a broken ankle”. Could this be referring to the recent spate of winter weather we have been experiencing?
History repeats itself
No! This was the headline of 15th December 1967, when a blizzard hit Brighton and temperatures plummeted to -7 C. Reports contained details of falls of snow between 30cm and 45cm in depth, with drifts of up to 2 metres. Rottingdean and Saltdean were isolated for over 36 hours, whilst 200 stranded bus passengers sought refuge in the ‘White Horse’ Hotel. When food starting running out, an urgent appeal was made to the Police, but it was not until that evening that snow ploughs eventually made it through. Unfortunately the road was not unblocked until the following day.
100 years earlier
Almost exactly one hundred years prior to this, on December 14th 1867, the Mayor of Brighton had called a meeting at the Town Hall to consider a report from the General Relief Committee. This advocated that relief should be given to the poor by way of soup distribution, or otherwise, during the present winter, the inclemency of which has commenced unusually early.
Your winter tales?
If you have recollections, or better still, photographs of the winters of 1963 and 1967, why not share them with other readers on this page.