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

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