A poor memory and an interest in local history is an unfortunate combination, and any memory of snow in 1963 has disappeared. Vague memories are stirring of frost on the inside of the windows, paraffin heaters (and the threat of going too near them) and the stress the adults were under, caused by frozen pipes. The winter of 1963 was the coldest of the 20th Century in the U.K. It started around Christmas time and lasted until the middle of February with a short lull in the middle. This piece is from the Rhyl Journal of January 31st 1963, when they obviously thought it was all over:
The thaw sets In
“The welcome thaw began in Rhyl on Friday, when the daytime temperature rose to 39 degrees Farenheit. BUT – even if the thaw continues at the present rate it might be as long as two weeks more some people get a normal water supply to their houses.
Mr J. Round, the Water Engineer, told the Journal on Tuesday, that even service pipes, from mains to houses, which were two feet six inches underground, were frozen, and it would take a long time for them to melt. Rising temperatures would help, and a considerable rainfall would also assist in unfreezing the ground.
The Water Department had a list of more than 700 houses without water and there were many hundreds besides, who had realised the futility of reporting “no water” because there was little the department could do.
Mr Round said that standpipes had now been fixed in 60 streets in Rhyl. The strange thing, however, was that in most streets some residents had not been without water in their homes throughout the freeze-up.
The thaw, said Mr Round, would doubtless disclose many burst pipes. He also pointed out that if there were large numbers of bursts, or if people left taps running unceasingly so as to prevent further freeze-ups, it could have a disastrous effect on the whole water supply”
Was there much snow in Rhyl during the Winter of 1962/3? Your thoughts, as ever…