The Winter of 1946-47

Unlike the year before, the winter of 1946-47 was particularly harsh and it snowed for weeks covering all the roads in the Dales with hard, packed-down snow and ice over six inches thick. Extreme cold snaps in December and January saw the temperature in England and Wales fall to minus 21 degrees. The weather brought large snowdrifts to the countryside, blocking roads and railways, February was one of the coldest months ever recorded and further heavy snow in early March made the problems even worse. In the middle of the month, a quick thaw saw floods add to the misery. Farming areas such as the Dales were particularly hard hit with as many as a quarter of all the sheep dying amid poor harvests of grain and potatoes.

There was no choice for people like us but to make the best of the conditions get out and earn some money. My father had to travel very carefully on roads that were not at all suitable for driving…

[Excerpt from Nothin Easy: My Young Life 1935 – 1977]