A few weeks, ago I featured pictures of Marlow Lock being rebuilt in the Winter of 1962/3 despite terrible weather conditions. This brought a couple of requests for more general pictures, so that makes up today’s page. Some of these pictures have been seen before, but never all together!

There had been some snow in the early weeks of a freezing December 1962 but the worst came with a severe blizzard on Boxing Day. Parts of the country had a fall of twenty inches; in this area is was around half that, but more than enough to block most roads out of town, made worse by drifting in the high winds. Badly hit was the road up to Lane End and the first picture shows efforts to clear a way through on the hill beyond Seymour Court Lane.

It was not successful: gales causing continual drifting.

Top right, a delivery lorry is stuck at the junction of Marlow Bottom and Burroughs Grove, with the traffic piling up behind and abuse probably being directed at the helpless driver.

Town centre streets were made just about passable within 48 hours thanks to the help of earth moving equipment and two lorries from G.H.Dean’s Haulage Company. The frontage of George Currall’s Garage can be seen. Huge mountains of snow were dumped in Higginson Park and remained slowly thawing well into late Spring, reminiscent of a previous bad winter in 1947.

After three months of freezing conditions, with more snow and gale force winds in February, it was not until mid March that a thaw began. January 1963 remains the coldest month on record in England since January 1814.

There is a famous picture from January 22nd in that year of a car driving across the frozen Thames in Oxford.

Here in Marlow, due to a very strong stream, it did not freeze quite all the way over as it had done in 1894/5 when there are many pictures of townspeople unwisely walking across, one even pushing a baby in a pram! Swans and ducks were puzzled by the ice.

The pictures of skiing and tobogganing were taken in Happy Valley, a bit safer than the much steeper slopes of Winter Hill. Similar activities at both places would be no longer possible these days due to the growth of trees and a few fences at Happy Valley.

Lower right, the final two pictures relate to Cyril Chalk’s long standing High Street Hardware Store. Outside, two cars, unable to park closer to the kerb, are causing problems, whilst the nostalgic front view of that unique shop has snow covered dustbins on the balcony, one priced at twenty nine shillings and sixpence.

I have not seen a weather forecast for this coming Winter, but of course we have other things to worry about this year, don’t we.

Contact Michael on michael@jazzfans.co or 01628 486571