Consett’s Christmas Countdown Day 4

Written Dec 2020

Listening to the weather forecast last night it looks like the north of England is in for some wintry weather, with the fell tops already dusted with snow. Let’s hope it is not as severe a cold snap as the notorious winter of 1962 – 1963, when the country was frozen solid between mid December and February.

The photos above are from the 1962 edition of the CIC magazine, which tried to bring some Christmas cheer with its natty golden cover and its jaunty journalistic style. The image of a snowy Snows Green is a very appropriate scene for the back cover. Oddly, little was mention was made of the severity of the winter – maybe at the time of writing the long cold spell had only just begun.

The following You Tube link, shown on BBC4 this week, is a great overview of The Big Freeze, and worth a watch, not least to enjoy how television presenters have changed their delivery style in the last 50 years!

Images from the Consett Iron Company Magazine December 1962 and Durham Weather UK, which includes some great personal testimonies of living through the Big Freeze. The complete magazine is available here.

What are your memories of winters gone by?

What were the Steelworks like in the winter?