The winter when Wales stood still

Snow drifts over six metres deep Credit: ITV News Wales

The winter of 1962-63 is one that still casts a shiver for all those who remember it. History would label it 'The Big Freeze' - and with good reason.

December 1962 started off like many a winter... a scattering of wintry showers fell across the UK. But it was on Boxing Day that the real snow began to fall. The fateful combination of sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds conspired to bring a winter of abject misery for Wales and much of England. The snow froze where it fell, and the winds whipped it into drifts over six metres deep in places. The country came to a virtual standstill.

For nearly three months daily temperatures were around five degrees lower than the seasonal average. Pipes froze. Even the coal in the ground froze. And that meant heating homes became almost impossible.

Roads became impassable Credit: ITV News Wales

By the end of December 1962 much of our road network was impassable. In some areas cars literally froze to the tarmac, and snow-ploughs struggled to get through. Entire villages were cut off, and people had to rely on helicopters to drop them food supplies.

Thousands of animals perished in the cold temperatures Credit: ITV News Wales

It wasn't just people who struggled for survival. Unable to get out to their fields, farmers had little chance of saving their livestock. Many thousands of animals perished during the Big Freeze, with entire herds wiped out.

The seafront in Swansea iced over Credit: ITV News Wales

For three months our landscape changed entirely. Rivers froze solid, and the tides came in - and stayed in. The seafront in Swansea in South Wales iced over - an amazing sight!

The thaw didn't set in until early March. March 6th 1963 was the first morning of the year without any frost anywhere in Britain. Incredibly, temperatures soared that month to 17 degrees celsius, and the remaining snow rapidly disappeared. But then came the problems with flooding.

It wan't until the winter of 1982, twenty years later, when Wales saw anything of the like again...

We've heard your memories of the Big Freeze of 1962/1963 - now we're asking for your memories of the winter of 1982. Do you have any pictures or memories you'd like to share with us? You can email them to wales@itv.com or submit them via Twitter or Facebook.