27th January 1963

"A week-end thaw coincided with the worst power failure in the National Grid
in 35 years of operation.  The East Midlands was cut off from the North and
South and there were widespread power failures.  But the thaw allowed the
National Coal Board to get supplies moving again.  After water mains had
burst, there was flooding in London (where firemen dealt with 1473 cases
during the weekend), Cambourne and Oxford (where several hundred books were
damaged in the library of Trinity College).  A 45lb lamb was roasted on the
Oulton Broad, Norfolk - then it was taken away in a hurry because the
charcoal was melting the ice.  In the same county an amateur forecaster who
had accurately predicted a severe winter last September suddenly decided
that the summer would be "so hot people would be dropping dead from the

28th January 1963

" The slow thaw continued and a new hazard arose.  Trains were diverted at
Caerphilly after 10 tons of ice had dropped from a ventilating shaft; and at
Torpantau, Brecon, where 50 tons overhung a tunnel mouth.  Derbyshire County
Council decided to use 400 lb of gelignite to blow up a snow cornice hanging
200 feet above the Snake pass which had been closed to traffic between
Manchester and Sheffield for 11 days.  The British Insurance Association
revised its estimate of winter claims.  These, it now reckoned, would amount
to 15M.  In Liverpool, it was said that the cost of snow clearance was by
now 95,000 - almost twice as much as in 1947."

As reported in the Manchester Guardian booklet "The Long Winter 1962-63"