The Big Freeze 1963

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Capt Slog
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The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Capt Slog » Mon Jan 21, 2013 16:09 pm

On Saturday at 5:30 there was a program which was part of BBC's 'Winterwatch'. I missed the beginning the main part of the program was a documentary made after the really bad winter of 1963.

It was in the analysis style of the Tsunami/disaster type things we see these days, tracking back over the event and showing lots of footage from the time.

It was an excellent program and put this winters snow in some perspective :roll: Interesting to watch so many people toiling away digging trains and the like out of snow drifts wearing overcoats! It made me thankful of modern day clothing.

If you want to watch it (it's an hour well spent in my opinion) you can find it here.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ig_Freeze/

but only until Jan 26th.


(Look out for the 'production designer' in the end credits of the 1963 part. :) )
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Gizmodo
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Gizmodo » Mon Jan 21, 2013 16:30 pm

I watched bits of that. Now I'm cold and I'm sitting in my centrally heated house! Brrrrr....

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random man
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby random man » Mon Jan 21, 2013 19:13 pm

It was a great programme. I was seven at the time and had my first proper bike for Xmas (BSA, Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub :D ). It snowed on Boxing Day and I couldn't ride the bike until March!
At that age I thought all winters were like that, but looking at the film it really brings home how bad it was.

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team47b
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby team47b » Mon Jan 21, 2013 19:19 pm

Thanks for posting that.

I remember as a child our snowman made it to Good Friday!

For those outside the UK (not allowed to watch the BBC) you can watch it on youtube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QM6_GqVWjA
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mwf28
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby mwf28 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 21:02 pm

I saw that ,We are lucky that we have modern central heating thoughout our energy efficent homes although it costs a fortune to have it on nowdays ,greedy energy compnies allowed to raise prices on a toss of a coin :evil:
It makes me laughs how a little bit of snow or ice totally shuts down the transport,schools,services of this country,we have all become too soft.
We just do not cope or seem to plan in advance anymore? When i was younger ,i lived in scotland ,i used wake in the morning with ice on the inside of the window and icicles hanging from my nose..ouch!
Had parrafin heaters in two rooms ...AHHH! that smell is etched into my nostrils...probadly why i had bad asthma ,ahh the good old days...not!!!

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Capt Slog
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Capt Slog » Mon Jan 21, 2013 21:14 pm

team47b wrote: you can watch it on youtube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QM6_GqVWjA


Thanks for finding that, I guessed it might be there but hadn't looked for it.

Mrs Slog had a snow day today, she works in a special school, and I can see her point regarding the type of pupils she looks after and how they manage to get in (distance + severe disabilities). But I can't remember as a kid a SINGLE day that I had off due to the weather, and as you see form the film, 'it were real weather in them days'.

Other's recollections reminded of my first house in 1981, a two up two down terrace which just had one coal fire for the heating. The young Mrs Slog and I froze, I don't know how we kept warm :roll: :D
The trap to the bathroom basin used to freeze and I shaved in cold water most mornings (by the time the water ran hot, the sink was full) and this was regular event until we learned to put a candle under it each night. Happy times.
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Mikey23
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Mikey23 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 21:41 pm

I thought it was a brilliant prog. I was 11 at the time and had to walk 2 miles each way to school and as a result got frostbite, which was definitely not nice....

Very interesting to see how the world was in those days, mostly no cars or mobile phones and of course the world was black and white

What amused me was the state of the art graphics at the end with the presenter holding up a series of boards with crayonning on...

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Mikey23
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Mikey23 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 21:43 pm

... And did I notice Ridley Scott on the credits at the end?

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cooldad
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby cooldad » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:02 pm

You did.
I was born in the middle of it, in the north east.
I don't remember a thing.
I don't do smileys.

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ALIHISGREAT
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby ALIHISGREAT » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:54 pm

Looks mental.. I'm struggling with the potential for two weeks off the bike.. can't imagine being snowed in for that long

tiredofwhiners
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby tiredofwhiners » Tue Jan 22, 2013 08:28 am

cooldad wrote:I was born in the middle of it, in the north east.
I don't remember a thing.


Ditto, although my rather elderly mother reminds me that I didn't leave the house where I was born for two months.

The story comes out every time it snows, bless her :)

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Capt Slog
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Capt Slog » Tue Jan 22, 2013 08:49 am

Mikey23 wrote:... And did I notice Ridley Scott on the credits at the end?


Yes you did :D

He was working on things for the BBC at the time apparently, an episode of Z-cars and others.
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dynamicbrick
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby dynamicbrick » Tue Jan 22, 2013 09:02 am

Blimey.

Some crazy stuff on that programme; Three trains frozen in, took 80 men a week to dig them out.

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Peat
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Peat » Tue Jan 22, 2013 14:30 pm

Great find.

Cheers.

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Escadrille Ecosse
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Escadrille Ecosse » Tue Jan 22, 2013 20:43 pm

I was only one at the time, but one thing I remember my parents telling me later was the state of the electricity supply when everyone went home and put on electric fires. The voltage dropped so much that the picture on the old CRT TVs shrank to about 2/3 the size of the screen because there wasn't enough voltage to drive the scan. Mind you that might be because we were living out in the sticks at the time. Better than my Granny though, she didn't even get electricity until later in 1963.

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Mike Healey
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Mike Healey » Tue Jan 22, 2013 23:38 pm

Remember going to work from Leamington to the Wellesbourne garage of J T Thorpe Ltd one morning with freezing fog and black ice on my, even then, ancient Lambretta LD150. Black ice was so bad, I kept drifting/sliding downto the edge of the road and the fog got thicker and thicker til I could hardly see a thing so was spluttering along at about 10mph, tho' the ice disappeared.

Just before I got there, the car sales rep came bombing past at some rate of knots like a madman (IMHO).

Him: why were you crawling along?

Me: Thick fog you idot!

Him: What fog?

Me: That fog! (taking off my goggles)

Taking off goggles accompanied by tinkling sound as 1/8" layer of frozen fog fell off them. Apparently, the fog only lasted about 2 of the eight mile journey
Remember landlady's outside loo downpipe froze and blocked. Remember that nylon pacamac over ex-RAF greatcoat was inadequate protection against cold on scooter with max speed of about 38mph. Remember taking weekly bath at the Leamington Spa Pumproom public bath because of frozen outside downpipe for 2 months. Remember frozen fingers not conducive to co-operation from girlfriend in would-be tender moments. Especially bearing in mind that her house was as cold as mine. Like chapel hatpegs without me getting anywhere near.

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Pross
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Pross » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:32 pm

mwf28 wrote:IIt makes me laughs how a little bit of snow or ice totally shuts down the transport,schools,services of this country,we have all become too soft.


I agree with the sentiment but also back in 63 most people worked within walking distance of home. The problem now is that a lot more people work beyond walking distance of work (although people's perception of walking distance is now likely to be lower as well). Also, the economy was much more focussed on manufacturing back then so if people didn't get to work there would be much more impact on the economy (not to mention workers would be highly unlikely to get paid if they didn't turn up). Finally, we now have people who are terrified of being sued and therefore are overly risk averse hence schools will shut, buses won't try to operate etc.

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daviesee
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby daviesee » Wed Jan 23, 2013 13:17 pm

Pross wrote:Finally, we now have people who are terrified of being sued and therefore are overly risk averse hence schools will shut, buses won't try to operate etc.

= soft.

I agree with the reasoning however.
None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.

kettrinboy
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby kettrinboy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 08:08 am

tiredofwhiners wrote:
cooldad wrote:I was born in the middle of it, in the north east.
I don't remember a thing.


Ditto, although my rather elderly mother reminds me that I didn't leave the house where I was born for two months.

The story comes out every time it snows, bless her :)

Same here , born in mid Jan 63 and mum says she couldnt get me out of the house in a pram until April

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Mikey23
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Re: The Big Freeze 1963

Postby Mikey23 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 17:39 pm

Beer was a penny a pint ...


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