Bygone Winter

Much has been said about the weather conditions and in particular the downfall of Snow in the 2010 / 2011 winter but how many recall the 1946 ? winter .

At that time I was thirteen years old and lived on Carter Lane and one morning we awoke to find overnight it was an exceptional fall with snow that had caused snowdrifts in places of 3 to 4 feet deep infact it was so deep we had to dig out a path to get out of the house to the outside toilet and onto Carter Lane and the town had vitually come to a standstill.

As a thirteen year old it was fantastic no School for a considerable time

Being off shool resulted in activities in the snow in our case it was sledges on Jacksons Field or as we called it the Top Field virtually every day. Access being in our case Rock Street but there  was also access from King Street Scarcliffe Street and others off Newgate Lane / Mill Street off Carter Lane and from Redcliffe Road and it was exceptionally popular For the daring they could actually travel to Sandy Lane via an alley way which came out between the Trent Bus Garage and Bramwells Butchers at the bottom of Skerry Hill

Regarding the roads there were no buses running or other traffic on them until the roads were cleared which in those days it was virtually all done by manual workers of the Council with horse driven carts  I do not recall snow ploughs or gritting vehicles it made the roads full of pot holes in the solid snow because of the uneven spredding of grit sand and salt by shovels.

In those days I seem to remember there was a Byelaw which required owners and tenants to clear the pathways outside of your residence and it went into the gutter then later the Council had men and the horse and carts who would then fill the same and take it to the River Maun at the junction of Ratcliffe Road and Church Street were it was tipped into the river I believe only the major roads and the busiest thoroughfares were dealt with They were a great time for all children.

A snow scene for illustration, not taken in 1946

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  • Ref to Jacksons Field – My recollections brought to mind after the war was declared, a large excavation was made on the the site at the top of Bolsover Street and Beresford Sreet as Part of the councils programme of building Air Raid Shelters, but was abandoned due to it being unsuitable. It was very deep and very sandy. It Was then boarded up till well after the war I don’t remember heaps of sand much after it may have been used in the building of brick and concrete shelters dotted around then. There was one I clearly remember still on the Island opposite the shops at Bull Farm certainly well in to the 50’s and had several uses during its lifetime for example as changing rooms for the area Football Club who played on the recreation ground at the back of the School. Probably many others were similarly used on other sites

    By Malcolm Raynor (22/01/2012)

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