When the River Stour froze for three months - the Big Freeze of 1962-63 in pictures

Geoffrey and Richard Adams walk on the frozen River Stour at Christchurch during the cold spell of 1963 – the river was frozen over from Boxing Day 1962 and didn’t thaw until early March 1963

Geoffrey and Richard Adams walk on the frozen River Stour at Christchurch during the cold spell of 1963 – the river was frozen over from Boxing Day 1962 and didn’t thaw until early March 1963

First published in News
Last updated

THE winter of 1962-63 saw a big freeze that was not only colder than anything in modern memory but also went on longer.

Bournemouth Echo:

An undated picture of a No 24 Bournemouth, Hants and Dorset bus stuck in snow and having to be dug out. Note the poster on the bus is advertising Crawford’s Cream Crackers, a first-class fare 

The severe weather started with a blizzard in late December and the thaw did not come until March.

January 1963 was the coldest month of the 20th century.

The Echo reported on January 1 that 14 inches of snow had fallen in the town in a few days.

More than 50 corporation workmen had failed to report for duty that day because of exhaustion, while milk deliveries were ‘chaotic’.

Bournemouth Echo:

At the end of December 1962 workmen had the unusual task of clearing snow from Bournemouth seafront 

Unemployment was up because building work had come to a halt.

The Echo reported the good deeds being done, including by Belinda Harding, 11, and her sister Penny, who were delivering milk to the elderly by sledge and taking away the empties.

Bournemouth Echo:

January 1963 and Belinda Harding, 11, and her elder sister Penny, of St Ledger’s Road, Bournemouth, helped the elderly and infirm by using a sledge to collect empty milk bottles and deliver fresh supplies of milk and other essentials 

But on February 6, the paper had to report the occurence of another snowdrift, some 8ft deep, blocking North Dorset roads and cutting off scores of villagers for the second time that winter.

See more nostalgic pictures of extreme weather in Dorset over the years in a gallery

Do you have a nostalgic weather picture to share? email it to digital@bournemouthecho.co.uk

 

 

Comments (13)

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1:39pm Wed 5 Mar 14

twynham says...

Great fun cycling on the quay, but did fall through the ice on the Avon!
Initially just hurt pride, then my Dad found out!
Father's rage much more effective than elf & safety!
Great fun cycling on the quay, but did fall through the ice on the Avon! Initially just hurt pride, then my Dad found out! Father's rage much more effective than elf & safety! twynham
  • Score: 10

2:19pm Wed 5 Mar 14

liveinhope says...

Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963.

Now I'm no Sherlock but..............
Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963. Now I'm no Sherlock but.............. liveinhope
  • Score: 9

3:50pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Isosceles says...

liveinhope
Same picture in two places, 'cummon', this is the Echo - did you really expect high journalistic standards?
liveinhope Same picture in two places, 'cummon', this is the Echo - did you really expect high journalistic standards? Isosceles
  • Score: 4

3:52pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Ophilum says...

It was cold and the stour froze over at Blandford but we still got to school even with all the snow, oh and no mention of the global warming scam then as we were clever enough to realise it was the weather lucky enough we did not have the Greens/Reds trying to brainwash us back then with there religion.
It was cold and the stour froze over at Blandford but we still got to school even with all the snow, oh and no mention of the global warming scam then as we were clever enough to realise it was the weather lucky enough we did not have the Greens/Reds trying to brainwash us back then with there religion. Ophilum
  • Score: -2

5:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Huey says...

liveinhope wrote:
Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963.

Now I'm no Sherlock but..............
They write this down the pub dontcha know.... Free wifi.....
[quote][p][bold]liveinhope[/bold] wrote: Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963. Now I'm no Sherlock but..............[/p][/quote]They write this down the pub dontcha know.... Free wifi..... Huey
  • Score: -1

6:59pm Wed 5 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

liveinhope wrote:
Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963.

Now I'm no Sherlock but..............
In hard copy we have the correct photo depicting three stranded Corporation buses in the winter of 1963.

But as the Echo the other day used a photo of a bright red vintage London bus visiting Bournemouth in the late 1960's and captioned it as typically 'Bournemouth in the 1950's' there must be some issues in the photo archive library!
[quote][p][bold]liveinhope[/bold] wrote: Small observation but that undated photo of the No 24 bus appears to be the same view as the one underneath dated February 1963. Now I'm no Sherlock but..............[/p][/quote]In hard copy we have the correct photo depicting three stranded Corporation buses in the winter of 1963. But as the Echo the other day used a photo of a bright red vintage London bus visiting Bournemouth in the late 1960's and captioned it as typically 'Bournemouth in the 1950's' there must be some issues in the photo archive library! muscliffman
  • Score: 3

7:40pm Wed 5 Mar 14

hamworthygirl says...

Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on.
Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on. hamworthygirl
  • Score: 2

8:43pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Hessenford says...

hamworthygirl wrote:
Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on.
Ah yes, the days before health and safety, nanny state and global warming, I remember them well, pity we cant turn the clock back to those brilliant days.
[quote][p][bold]hamworthygirl[/bold] wrote: Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on.[/p][/quote]Ah yes, the days before health and safety, nanny state and global warming, I remember them well, pity we cant turn the clock back to those brilliant days. Hessenford
  • Score: 2

8:47pm Wed 5 Mar 14

joeinpoole says...

Disappointed that they didn't have photos of people with folded arms looking miffed in those days. You don't really get the 'humanitarian' aspect of the story without them.
Disappointed that they didn't have photos of people with folded arms looking miffed in those days. You don't really get the 'humanitarian' aspect of the story without them. joeinpoole
  • Score: 3

10:23pm Wed 5 Mar 14

clavier king says...

Nearly drove into Beales window that night going home after a gig at Hamworthy Labour Club. Ronnie Fife was driving.
Nearly drove into Beales window that night going home after a gig at Hamworthy Labour Club. Ronnie Fife was driving. clavier king
  • Score: 1

11:08pm Wed 5 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

joeinpoole wrote:
Disappointed that they didn't have photos of people with folded arms looking miffed in those days. You don't really get the 'humanitarian' aspect of the story without them.
True, but every cloud has a silver lining because there were also no brain washed 'tree huggers' or their opportunistic tax and subsidy grabbing bed fellows around. In fact nobody was spouting doom laden nonsense suggesting that every bit of unusual but perfectly natural weather which came along was somehow all mankind's fault.
[quote][p][bold]joeinpoole[/bold] wrote: Disappointed that they didn't have photos of people with folded arms looking miffed in those days. You don't really get the 'humanitarian' aspect of the story without them.[/p][/quote]True, but every cloud has a silver lining because there were also no brain washed 'tree huggers' or their opportunistic tax and subsidy grabbing bed fellows around. In fact nobody was spouting doom laden nonsense suggesting that every bit of unusual but perfectly natural weather which came along was somehow all mankind's fault. muscliffman
  • Score: 2

3:50am Thu 6 Mar 14

hamworthygirl says...

Hessenford wrote:
hamworthygirl wrote:
Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on.
Ah yes, the days before health and safety, nanny state and global warming, I remember them well, pity we cant turn the clock back to those brilliant days.
Not saying it was good i wouldnt want to go back to freezing to be honest. and having no central heating
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hamworthygirl[/bold] wrote: Remember it well my dad was a builder and couldnt work was sent to shovel snow for not much money to feed us. Still went to school despite no heat sometimes, sat in lessons with coats on.[/p][/quote]Ah yes, the days before health and safety, nanny state and global warming, I remember them well, pity we cant turn the clock back to those brilliant days.[/p][/quote]Not saying it was good i wouldnt want to go back to freezing to be honest. and having no central heating hamworthygirl
  • Score: 3

7:46pm Thu 6 Mar 14

MotorbikeSam says...

it must be climate change.. blame shell or PB.. or was that the 1976 heatwave..or maybe it always going up and down and man is just a small spec on the planet .
it must be climate change.. blame shell or PB.. or was that the 1976 heatwave..or maybe it always going up and down and man is just a small spec on the planet . MotorbikeSam
  • Score: 1

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