The Winter 0f 1963.

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…



Filed under 1960's, General

4 responses to “The Winter 0f 1963.

  1. John Davies

    I remember the winter of 1963, albeit vaguely, as I was only 11, but I definately remember it as I was doing a paper round for Korks in Abbey Street? ( Does anyone remember Beresford Kork, Aka Korky in the news agent come tuck shop on the corner of the entry opposite the Aquarium shop ? The thing I most remember was the snow, it was snowing so heavily that I was unable to finish my round, as the snow was drifting due to the high winds , and I was soaked to the skin and freezing cold, I couldn`t get through the snow it was so deep. Also if I remember correctly, wasn`t this the year that the harbour actually froze , almost totally over, really thick ice all over the harbour, it was all cracked but really thick ice, it was the worst winter I ever remember , even down to the old sash windows being frozen on the inside , I don`t remember any burst pipes though, but then again why should I?, it wasn`t my problem aged 11.

    • robin vyrnwy-pierce

      That was the year that the harbour froze over. Also I remember Korks as I did a paper round for them for a couple of years at that period.

  2. John Davies

    Hi Robin, I don`t know you , but I do remember there were other paper boys on different rounds , and the evening round as well , which i`m certain I did on the odd occasion when they were a lad short . Long time ago now , did you go to Christ Church school as I did?

    • Robin Vyrnwy-Pierce

      Yes and in 1961 up to the Grammar School. I remember Ken Williams and Miss Owen.
      My father owned Pierce’s Chemist in Water Street.

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