php and cap Big Freeze of 1963, at Knightwick.

Knightwick 1963 - Patrick Parsons and his father Dr. Parsons, standing on the frozen over River Teme. [Many thanks to retired Lieutenant Colonel Pat Parsons, for this photo]

Everyone talks about cold times but the chill of 1963 was certainly one to be remembered. That year the UK had one of its worst winters in living memory with temperatures plummeted so low even the SEA froze.

The snow started on Boxing Day 1962 and the big freeze lasted until March. Lakes and rivers froze across the country amid biting temperatures and there were patches of ice on the sea. Huge ice boulders formed on beaches and blizzards caused snowdrifts up to 20ft (6m) deep.
The Arctic conditions meant thousands of schools closed, telephone lines were brought down and power cuts hit thousands of homes. Temperatures dropped as low as minus 22.2C (minus 8F) on January 18 1963 in Braemar, Aberdeenshire.
January that year was the coldest month since 1814, there was snow everywhere and strong winds from the north and east. It was unremittingly cold. Most of England and Wales had a blanket of snow right through the month. In February 1963 a huge snowstorm struck Northern Ireland, south west England and Wales.
That led to a fall of nearly 5ft (1.5m) in Tredegar in Monmouthshire - an outstanding amount of snow.

Even though the weather was so bad we still managed to get to school in Bromyard, snow towered above the bus as we drove along country lanes, our trip from Knightwick taking us through Lulsley, Alfrick, Suckley, Acton Green and Stanford Bishop before arriving at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Bromyard. There were days missed at the very beginning but bulldozers kept it all clear!!

What an amazing photo of Tony and Patrick, so glad they had this taken and that I can now use it to show Knightwick at its coldest time. The house I was born in can be seen behind Tony's head.



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