3rd March 1947. Cold Brrr!
The ‘Beast from the East’ in February and early March 2018 saw some of the coldest ‘wind-chill’ and falls of snow for some time but couldn’t compare with the great freeze-up of 1947 which saw Today nearly a million workers able to return to work as electric power was restored.
However even by March 6th 300 roads were blocked and 15 towns cut off by snow as the appalling weather continued until mid-month. On March 14th In Ushaw in County Durham there were still 34 inches of snow on the ground.
A week earlier there was six feet (150cm) at Clawdd-Newydd, near Ruthin in North Wales which set a record for the deepest known level snow in a populated district.
All this at the time when shortages were as bad as in wartime with rationing still in force as thousands of acres of corn was destroyed. Root vegetables were dug using pneumatic drills and thousands of sheep froze to death. The country coped by its traditional stoicism and complaining, but more in Churchill’s immortal phrase by keep ‘buggering on’.
Mid-week sport was banned on the 13th as the government tried to boost productivity and the football season from August 31st to the following June 14th was the longest in history; the next season began seventy days later.
On March 16th an atrocious storm hit the south of England and the Thames and Severn burst their banks with severe flooding, including the London Underground, affecting 31 counties, across South Wales and southern England.
It was said to have killed two million sheep, a week’s meat ration, a quarter of the country’s stock, and it was calculated that it took six years for numbers to recover. It damaged 500,000 acres of wheat, a month’s bread ration, and there was a drop of some 10 to 20% in cereal and potato crops resulting in potato rationing later in 1947.
The full restoration of electricity didn’t resume until the end of April and ironically the winter was followed by a glorious summer.
dailymail.co.uk. Dave Kynaston 11.1.2010/Pics.