It may be cold now but …

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It's nothing compared to the 'big freeze' of 1962/63!

I remember the winter of 62/63 quitly vividly.  I had just turned 8 years old and living in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.  I remember the snow on Boxing day '62 as me and my mun, dad and nan had to walk to my aunt's for lunch.  Of course, as an 8 year old it was dead exciting.  We had snow and ice for about 6 weeks; snow upon snow upon snow but life went on.  My dad had to walk 3 miles or so to work and my mum used to take me to school on a sledge my uncle had made for me which was great fun.  Our house was built on the side of a hill (as is everywhere in High Wycombe) so you couldn't go anywhere without sliding down or struggling up a hill!  I'm not sure when it was that winter but I recall drifts of snow at the side of the house which towered above me and in which I used to make impromptu igloos!  Was probably far too dangerous by today's standards!  Happy days.

Nigel Hancock, Herne Bay

On this day in 1963 a 36-hour blizzard caused heavy drifting snow in most parts of the country. Drifts reached 20 feet (6.1 m) in some areas and there were gale force winds reaching up to 81 mph (130 km/h).  The whole country had been virtually at a standstill and snowed-in since boxing day, 1962 when around 18" 45cm of snow fell across most of the UK.  The snow stayed on the ground until early March; 6 March was the first morning of the year without any frost anywhere in Britain. The temperatures soon soared to 17 °C and the remaining snow rapidly disappeared.

In January 1963 temperatures plummeted and the sea off Herne Bay and the North Kent coast froze-over up to a mile out to sea.  The sea will freeze at below 28.4ºF (-2ºC) and the lowest temperature recorded in Kent in January, 1963 was reported to be -12ºC (10.4ºF) but it was the sustained low temperatures and wind-chill that caused havoc in the county.  In 1963 weather forecasters didn't report 'wind chill' but on this day in 1963 according to the temperature and wind records it would have felt like -27ºC!

Big Freeze 1963 Herne Bay Sea Freezes

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