Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter '62 - '63 (the coolest since 1740)

I'm sure we had some days off school in rural Gloucestershire, but when we went back we made ice slides as long as the whole sloping playground, as BIG as commerical runways along which we took turns to be towed by friends either side in the grippier snow. The bruises were enormous. And what about the firey cold pain under your skin which became so much worse once we got back into the warm?

Drifts outside our isolated house were 7 (seven) feet high and extended 20 yards or more from the wheatfield, through the laid hedge and across the wide verge and the road too.

Two coal fires, no radiators even in a modern house, no double glazing, of course, thick ice inside the windows, (cold lino floors), handknitted mittens and balaclavas........ But those weather conditions amounted to one of the most sustained periods of excitement ever!

That xmas I'd been given a sledge made by my dad in clumsy secrecy in the outhouse. The runners were recycled staves from a 5ft high barrel. Although strongly made, I don't think it was a very good sledge but good fun, all the same and I still quite often wonder how I slid below the lowest strand of that barbed wire fence and only lost my hat.

Here's a website dedicated to the winter weather of 1962 - 63.