Winter 1963 – The worst in British History ?

The winter of 1963 was one of the harshest in British history. Strangely the winter began very mild with parts of Hertfordshire and Norfolk experiencing warm temperatures of up to 14 Degrees Centigrade in January.

Between January 22nd and March 17th snow fell in various parts of the UK every day. Temperatures plummeted as low as – 16 Degrees Centigrade in some places. In Kent the sea froze up to a mile from the shore and the Thames also froze.

In February most parts of the UK experienced a 36 hour long snow Blizzard with snow drifts in places reaching as high as 20 feet and gale force winds ecorded at over 80 miles per hour. Many villages were cut off with helicopters being the only means of being to provide them with supplies and the army was called in to help with the situation.

A record breaking low temperature of – 22 degrees centigrade was recorded in Braemer in Scotland on January the 18th. The severe cold weather was followed by rain and gale force winds causing a thaw followed by widespread floods. The Winter of 1963 was forever known from thereon as the Big Freeze.