The Snow of 1947

There have been a great many snowfalls in and around the district, but the one of 1947 is the one that they still talk about.

The weather in Britain was colder than February 1740 - the previous record – and was one of the worst winters on record.

From 22nd January to 17th March 1947, snow fell every day somewhere in the UK, with the weather so cold that the snow accumulated.

Many outlying parts of Calderdale were cut off for 2 weeks as roads were made impassable by the snow-drifts of up to 15-ft deep.

Many local farms lost over 50% of their sheep.

Specially-adapted diesel boats were used for ice-breaking to keep the Calder & Hebble Navigation open to transport coal to Brighouse, Elland and Sowerby Bridge gasworks.

The situation was aggravated by a nationwide fuel shortage.

On 10th February 1947, a convoy of horse-drawn sledges carried the first outsiders to reach Blackshawhead in 11 days.

The cost of clearing the snow in Halifax was estimated at £13,500

See Rev Robert Martineau

© Malcolm Bull 2020
Revised 07:49 /20th February 2020 / mms2960 / 2993

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