Alex's weather blog: Snow on Dartmoor

As Dartmoor residents woke up to a blanket of snow, our weatherman Alex Beresford explains what's going on, and what's on the way.

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Snow shuts schools

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Drivers and passengers forced to stay in village hall

Drivers and passengers became stranded around 1am on the A39 between Bridgwater and Williton in Somerset when a build up of snow and fallen tress blocked their path.

30 people have spent the night in a village hall after becoming stranded Credit: ITV News West Country

Avon and Somerset Police transported the men and women by four-by-fours to a local fire station in the village of Nether Stowey to serve hot drinks to the group. A local councillor, was able to provide a key to open the village hall where the stranded motorists spent the night.

30 people have spent the night in a village hall after becoming stranded Credit: ITV News West Country

Postman who died in snow, a "quiet, friendly" man and keen sportsman

Further tributes have been paid to postman, John Bircham, who died while completing his rounds in and around Dulverton on Saturday in thick snow. It is understood the 57-year-old was towed out of a snowdrift before collapsing.

School friend, John Atkins, secretary and treasurer at Dulverton Town Football Club where Mr Bircham was a prolific striker during the 1970s, described the postman as a keen sportsman and a credit to his community:

As a footballer, John was as tough as nails - players used to bounce off him. But he was very gentle. There was never any nastiness in his play. If someone tried to tackle him, he'd just laugh. He was a very skilful player."

– School friend, John Atkins

Mr Atkins said the club would plan its own tribute to Mr Bircham, whose sons, Wayne and Jamie, both followed their father in playing for the local team. Others also paid tribute.

He did a lot for the people of this town and the surrounding area. John really did go to great lengths for people, not just with his deliveries," he said. "He was a real family man.

– Ian Fleming, Dulverton Town Council

He was as hard-working a person as you'll ever meet, very dedicated to his collections and to the people of this town. He was a very quiet man, and the customers loved him. He was very considerate towards them, always helping them out. He will be missed.

– Chris Dubery, Dulverton sub-postmaster
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