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Snow, 67-73 Stratton Road, 1962

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January 1, 1963
“The New Year came to Southampton on a cold east wind, carrying a light fall of snow to an already white and silent scene. At midnight ships’ sirens and hooters ushered 1963 into a cold and snowy world. In the suburbs the snow lay deep and almost unsullied by footprints. Church bells rang out over the snow from St Michael’s Church and from the Church of the Ascension at Bitterne Park. the bells of St mary’s rang in the New Year, but ringers could not get there in time to muffle the bells to ring out the old year. ‘How do we get home?’ That was the quiestion party-goers everywhere were asking as 1963 came in. As snow fell, revellers slipped away to make urgent telephone calls to taxi firms. But a good many taxis were off the road before midnight. For many it was a long walk home. many stayed home but at Southampton Fire headquarters one of the biggest parties in town went on as scheduled. Most of the 100 guests stayed on with duty crews to see 1963 ushered in by the station’s alarm bells. Before midnight there was coffee and chicken for all. Said a fire officer looking around: ‘It seems that everyone got home in the end.” (Southern Evening Echo 1 January 1963)
December 1962 had been the snowiest in a long time: the Echo reported 14 ¾ inches of snow in four substantial snowfalls. Council Photographers recording buildings in the Shirley clearance area also recorded the December snows. “The outlook is not promising and more snow may well occur.”
This was the beginning of the “Great Freeze” that lasted until March 1963.



Remembering Southampton's war day by day

See Air Raids, World War 2

19 October 1942
Robert George Diffey, a National Fire Service messenger, died in the Royal South Hants Hospital from injuries received earlier that day in Totton. He was 17 years old.


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Sotonopedia last updated 1 January 2023

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