Big Freeze of 1963

You might have thought that this past winter has been chilly - with a fair bit of snow - but it hardly compared to the winter people experienced 50 years ago. Read your memories of the big freeze of 1962/1963 here.

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  1. Tyne Tees

Snow was piled nearly ten feet deep on the Coldingham moors

The snow was piled nearly ten feet deep in places on the moors Credit: John Cowe

John Cowe sent these pictures of us and explained what life had been like for him and his family out in their home on the edge of Coldingham moors during the big freeze.

"These pictures were taken on the road between Reston and Coldingham, and of Coldingham Moors, about a mile from our home.

"As you can see the snow was about 8 to 10 feet deep in places.

"These roads were blocked for nearly four weeks."

The family were stuck in their home for a month during the freeze Credit: John Cowe

"I was living with my parents at The Grange Estate on the edge of Coldingham moors between these two roads at that time and there was no way out.

"Having lived here since 1948 we new how severe winters could be - we were well stocked up and were pretty well self-sufficient at the time but we had to melt snow to get water as the main water pipes were frozen."

A digger cleared the roads on the moors so the family could get out after a month Credit: John Cowe

"We kept hens so had eggs and got our milk from a local farm. Fortunately, we had plenty of firewood to keep us warm though.

"The pictures were taken when they eventually got the roads open and we were able to get to Berwick to replenish our stores."

The family were able to replenish their stores after a month stuck in their home Credit: John Cowe

"If I remember correctly these roads were opened by a local agricultural contractor who had a big 380 degree digger, which he converted to lift the snow forwards instead of pulling it towards the digger."

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