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The Snow of 1947

“I was reminded the other day whilst watching the BBC weather programme how viciously cold it was during the whole of February 1947.

Snow drifts across the country caused roads and railways to be blocked with the result that coal supplies already low after the war struggled to get through to power stations so the use of electricity was restricted and as a result many of the classrooms were closed so many of us had our lessons in some of the “Out Houses ” as they still had heating.

Because of the snow which lasted for weeks and the freezing temperatures no hockey or any other organised sport was played. However, all was not lost as a new sport evolved. Down Granham Hill there is an old cart track zigzagging down it, probably over grown now, which was ideal for a toboggan run. Sledges appeared from nowhere and my old homemade one was sent down to me on the train. The track was fast and I suppose quite dangerous. We lay on our tummies and steered by dragging a foot. Someone I recall failed to roll off before hitting a bush and got concussed. We were then all told to be more careful next time, no “health and safety” then! We did bicycle to Wootton Rivers on occasions to skate on the canal but it was not so much fun and when the authorities heard someone had fallen through the ice it was stopped!”

by Tim Halton (B1 1945-49)

Tim also reminded us that there was a paragraph in the 1947 edition of the College Magazine describing the “Great Cold” – which some may recall.