Glossop Heritage Trust
The blizzard of 1958.
Entries from West End School log book
25 February: Snow has fallen continuously through the night and drifted so badly that attendance is most seriously affected, no fewer than 205 pupils being absent this morning.
26 February: Wintry conditions persist, but attendance has improved: 125 pupils are still absent.
3 March: Attendance has much improved, there being only 28 pupils absent.
Glossop Chronicle 28 February.
(1) Norfolk Square from the arched porch of the Norfolk Arms Hotel
(2) St. Andrew's church had an ethereal look under its blanket of crisp snow.
(3) One lady stands hopefully waiting for her bus In Norfolk Square.
(4) A typical scene in the district this week as workmen dig out a lorry which has become bogged down in the snow.
(5) No one wanted to rest awhile under such conditions.
(6) Hadfield Station, the overhead bridge, the platform and the main down line almost disappeared under a thick carpeting of snow
(7) A fairy-tale picture of the snow-clad Howard Street church, Glossop
(8) The A.A. patrolmen are always on duty, no matter what the weather, and here contact is being maintained with headquarters where full reports on road conditions throughout the country are kept up to date.
(9) Even the snow-plough had to be dug out at The Cross, Hadfield
(10) A complete contrast in colours, the coal wharf at Hadfield is normally a grim place, thickly coated with the grime of ages. The snow lent a touch of enchantment.
(11) Bus services In the district were disrupted. A small boy puts it in writing.
It took six hours to free this 60ft.-long articulated lorry which skidded and blocked Sheffield Road, Glossop.
Worst Blizzard for Three Years
Traffic Completely Disrupted
Just three years after Glossop's worst snow blizzard for 25 years, snow again blanketed the town this week, and roads into Yorkshire were blocked with drifts up to six feet deep along the Snake Pass and Woodhead. Over 100 vehicles were stranded near the George and Dragon Hotel on the Woodhead road on Monday night, and drivers either had to put up at the inn, or struggle down on foot over the six miles into Tintwistle. Many householders and farmers in the more isolated corners of the district were completely cut off and some children were unable to get through the snow to school. Bus and train services were almost completely disrupted and the Glossop - Marple road through Charlesworth and Chisworth and the Chunal road to Hayfield were impassable after Monday night's blizzard. Snow ploughs were unable to get out In some cases and local A A patrolmen struggled out over the Snake on foot on Tuesday to make sure that no one was stranded on the bleak moorland road where a man died in the snow three years ago.
On Monday afternoon a sixty foot articulated lorry carrying scrap metal skidded right across Sheffield Road just below the Royal Oak completely blocking the entrance to the Snake Pass. Police and workmen toiled for over three hours during Monday afternoon to move it but without luck and on Tuesday heavy lifting gear had to be brought from Manchester. Many people had to walk miles to their work and a double decker bus had to be dug out of a drift at the top of Taylor Street, Hollingworth. Some householders had to dig their way out of their homes and along Sheffield Road snow was piled over window level at some houses.
Mottram Moor was another trouble spot but workmen were quickly in action spreading grit and salt to keep traffic moving but many Glossop people were annoyed at snow clearing efforts in the town. Hadfield roads were in a terrible state and many cars were stuck In drifts Brosscroft was one area which was particularly badly hit and many cars were bogged down there. No buses were going through Tintwistle on Tuesday and this meant a long walk for workers and shoppers, many of whom caught the train from Hadfield into Glossop from where buses were running into Manchester. Funerals at Glossop Cemetery had to be called of on Tuesday because the approach road was impassable.
On the railways frantic efforts were made to keep the lines clear, but two goods trains on the Manchester— Sheffield line were stranded on Monday night near the lonely Torside crossing. The 10-45 p.m. Manchester London Road to Glossop electric train on Monday should have arrived half an hour later. It arrived In Glossop at two minutes past one, but even worse to follow The 11-15 p.m. due to arrive at 11-44 p.m. didn't get through to Glossop until around six a.m on Tuesday. “There were only a few people aboard” said a railway official.
The main trouble seemed to be in the Broadbottom — Glossop section where the points were frozen. On Tuesday morning two passenger trains ran into difficulties in the Woodhead area and had to return to Manchester. They later managed to get through to Sheffield. There were drifts up to 18 feet deep in the area of the Woodhead tunnel and Lancashire to London trains came to a stop. The 1-50 a.m. Manchester to Cleethorpes train on Tuesday was marooned for several hours and passengers could only sit tight and wait. Those on the 10-35 p.m. Manchester to Sheffield train on Monday night were rescued after being marooned for four hours near Woodhead. They were transferred to the Manchester Central — Marylebone train which also became snowbound later. On Tuesday evening a spokesman for British Railways at Glossop Central said that services between Manchester and Glossope were running almost normally but diversions were being made via Hadfield for ease of operation
Farmers on the exposed acres of Glossop and Longdendale went out to dig for sheep, many of them feared dead under deep drifts. At the Dinting farm of F Walton, where the sheep have lambed early this year, they were quickly herded Into shelter near the farmstead and all were reported to be comfortable. “Our biggest job has been getting the milk out” said Mrs Walton.
The Snake Inn had its usual snow story to tell. Eight teenagers—four boys and four girls who had tried to walk over Kinder Scout, got caught in the blizzard on Monday and wandered on aimlessly in the snow until they struck the Snake Road and came across a lonely farm near the inn. Farmer Andrew Rodgers, of Upperhouse Farm, Snake Pass, said the youngsters were just about all in when they landed on his doorstep and one of the girls — 13-year-old Elizabeth Thomson, of Dore. Sheffield— collapsed. An ambulance from Sheffield, preceded by a snow-plough, struggled through the drifts to pick her up and take her back to Sheffield. The others soon revived in front of warm fire with a hot drink inside them.
At the Snake
They were all members of Upper Chapel Youth club, Sheffield, and had set off from before the snow started.
After a struggle which had gone on for nearly six hours workmen finally managed to drag an articulated lorry, which had skidded and blocked Sheffield Road, Glossop to the side. A double-decker bus which had been trapped behind it just below the Royal Oak was able to proceed to the depot. Among the lorries stranded on the Woodhead road were vehicles carrying pigs for slaughter.
The icy weather affected the size of the audience at the Playhouse Theatre on Tuesday, the opening night of the Partington Players' production of The Deep Blue Sea. In a speech at the curtain, Miss Vera Conner thanked members who had braved the cold. About a quarter of the seats were empty, although all had been booked before the opening.
Broadbottom-Mottram bus service resumed on Tuesday night, but the buses could not get through to Charlesworth because of the dangerous bend at Besthill Bridge and 6 ft high drifts in Long Lane where residents were particularly hampered in getting to and from work. The Tintwistle-Hadfield road was blocked for a spell at Waterside. Many cars were stuck at Brosscroft. No buses went up Hadfield Road on the 127 service but were able to travel up Station Road later on Tuesday and near normal services were operating on Wednesday.
Charlesworth houses were snowbound — Town Lane dwellings caught the full force of the blizzard as it swept across the valley. “We expect to experience something like this once every few years” cracked Mr B Higginbottom who was considering a delivery of papers by pony and sledge if the position worsened. He adopted similar tactics a few years ago. But on Wednesday a blue sky over the area suggested a thaw and much of the snow was thinning out on the hillsides.
Tradesmen in Glossop were glum as townsfolk kept off the streets. “There was little to open for” said one shopkeeper on Wednesday but the tradesmen had loyally kept the way open for customers by shovelling piles of snow off the pavement in front of their shops. Amateur football clubs in the district are likely to find their matches postponed on Saturday unless there is a sudden change In the weather. At the time of going to press there was no decision about Glossop's game at Great Harwood.
The George And Dragon, Woodhead, has been crowded with stranded motorists and lorry drivers and landlady Mrs Annie Bagshaw and helpers have been kept busy providing food. She has fed drivers about 50 loaves, 9 lb, of bacon. 6 dozen eggs, 4 lbs of butter and nearly a sack of potatoes, while the hotel was cut off. Other Woodhead and Crowden residents have had to ration their food supplies and Mr John Hawksworth. a shepherd set off yesterday in an effort to reach his flock of sheep. A Sheffield girl, Barbara Parr, marooned at Woodhead since Monday night, was carried down to Woodhead Station on Wednesday afternoon and a train made a special stop to take her home.
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