Dales Winters

Dales Winters

The Winter of 1947

This record was taken from a note-book kindly lent by Mr.Stan Brook of West Burton who now lives at Sycamore Close.

Horace Brook
Stans father Horace recorded the weather in the garden at Flanders Hall in West Burton for many years where he worked as a chauffeur and gardener.

He recorded rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature and degrees of frost.
He also had a side column in the note book where he recorded what the weather conditions were like at the time.

These are some of his observations during part of the harsh winter of 1947.

It snowed on and off during parts of January for approximately six days.

From the 1st of February to the 10th of February it snowed every day except for two.
There was no snow then until the 19th February. From the 19th of February until the end of February it snowed every day except for three. Sometimes the snow fall was as deep as 7 inches a night with lots of drifting snow.

On the 23rd of February the temperature nosedived to -18 degrees C.

The first four days of March were pretty quiet with regard to snow but on the 2nd and then on the 3rd of March the mercury in the thermometer went past the needle so it must have been at least 18 degrees C.

There was another eight days on which it snowed in March including the 12th of March when a further 9 inches of snow fell overnight.

On the 18th of March the thaw finally set in and this gave rise to significant flooding in the area.

The Capstick Brothers 1947

Some Memories of the Winter of 1947

Dolly Johnson Carperby

Dolly was evacuated as a young wife with her eldest son. They lived in the East End of London. London was so badly damaged that a lot of people had to leave and go to live elsewhere.

Dolly and her son went to Norfolk. Very little snow fell in that area so really they had quite an easy time of it.

Cotter Force circa 1970s

Mary Moore Hawes

I remember going to milk the calves at Sedbusk I was 17 years old. Somehow I slipped and spilt the milk. My husband was not very happy about it.

Abbotside was blocked from the end of January to the beginning of April. One day they would clear Sedbusk hill and the next day it had all blown back again.

Edgar Daykin Askrigg

I was in Germany in the winter of 1947 aged 27 and waiting to be demobbed.

It did snow there but nothing like the snow we got in England. When I returned to England I took up butchery.

Appersett Viaduct circa 1970s

Nora Atkinson Hawes

I lived on the main Sedbergh road three miles out of Hawes. We used to sell milk. It was taken by horse and trap to Hawes sta-tion.

When you tried to walk in the snow it was so deep you had to lift one leg up onto the snow, then sit astride it and then lift the other leg over. It was very hard going.

We lost a lot of sheep that winter.

Lake Semerwater frozen in 1929

Jim Waterworth Bainbridge

I was eleven years old and living in Ambleside. I was at the local primary school. I remember looking down at the village from High Gale where I lived and seeing the spire on the church sticking out from the snow looking absolutely beautiful.

The snow was absolutely pure just like a picture postcard.

Nothing moved in the village for weeks and weeks.

Francis Kearton Bainbridge

I was working at the cheese factory at Hawes.

The staff who worked there had to dig out the yard every morning. Only for the snow to blow back overnight.

The milk was brought by train and then by horse and trap to the dairy to be made into cheese.

West Burton in the early 1920s

This photo was taken by Horace Brook of West Burton helped by his son Stan who gave him a leg up on to the outside privvy at Flanders Hall to take it.

Stan Brook West Burton

I was in hospital in 1947. I was smashed up in Singapore and when I returned to England I needed urgent medical treatment.

I never saw any snow as the windows in the ward were quite high. I heard a lot about it though.

Spence Thwaites Swaledale

It was hard from getting up to going to bed.
We had no electricity or running water. The snow was as high as the farm gates.

No vehicles got through to Muker for 13 weeks.

There was a couple who tried to get married on the 15th of March at Muker. The transport was by horse and coup (which is a kind of sledge).Even then they were unable to reach Muker.

The snow was so bad the wedding had to be put off until the 18th March when the wedding was finally able to take place.

Middle Falls Waterfall, Aysgarth

JB Smithson

Whitfield Gill waterfall at Askrigg

JB Smithson

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