Glossop Heritage Trust

Snippets from Various Winters.


1933
Entries from West End School log book
24 February: During afternoon school an unusually violent blizzard commenced. By 4 o’clock there were drifts of snow in the school yard of 3 to 4 feet deep. Pupils were dismissed at 4pm and warned to get home as soon as possible.
Author's Note: I recall my late mother telling me of this incident. At the age of 12 she was one of a group of children who had to walk home to Charlesworth in the snow. Some 30 years later I faced similar walks to/from school “over the top” from Hadfield because buses weren't running.
27 February: During the weekend the blizzard continued with the result that Glossop is practically isolated from the outer world. Trains have not run to Glossop since Friday afternoon and there are drifts of 8 to 9 feet deep in numerous parts of the Borough. Only 40 pupils were present at 8.45am and these were immediately sent back home on the instructions of the Education Committee.
From Jack Holden's book A Very Special School
The worst snow storm in living memory, isolating many pupils, halting public transport and causing chaos everywhere. But the Grammar School, just like another very famous establishment, never closed.


1937
Entries from West End School log book
3 March: The school was closed today, as it was required for a County Council Election. The attendance this week has suffered severely as during the weekend a very heavy fall of snow took place, and roads have been almost impassable since Monday.
11 March: The severe weather continues and violent blizzards of snow, is raging today. There were 78 pupils absent this afternoon.
19 March: The severe weather has now subsided and the attendance is again approaching normal.
From the Glossop Chronicle of 2 March 1962, looking back to 1937
Glossop and district had the heaviest snowfall since 1917, and the town suffered from the effects of over 12 hours continuous fall. There was 14 inches of snow, and drifts in places reached a depth of several feet The town was completely isolated, and many cars and buses were stuck, especially at Woodhead, Mottram Moor, Mottram Cutting, and the Snake.

1941
Entries from West End School log book
20 January: A blizzard has been raging in the district during the weekend, and attendance this morning is only 51%. Instructions to close school for the afternoon were received at 12.07pm, after all the children had gone home. School therefore assembled as usual and worked till 2.45pm but Registers were not marked.
21 January: There was a further heavy fall of snow during the night, and instructions were received this morning (Tuesday) to close at noon till Thursday morning.
From the Glossop Chronicle of 31 January 1941
(Presumably reporting of bad weather was delayed by wartime restrictions at the time)
Glossop and the Blizzard
Milk Delivered by Sleigh!
Glossop and district has recently experienced a snow blizzard. It was less severe than the one of January, 1940. Snow fell heavily, however, and many roads were unusable by vehicles. Drifts six feet deep were to be seen on all hands, and with the snow still falling and a fierce wind blowing, outlying farms and cottages in isolated areas, were cut off from adjoining towns and villages for two or three days.
SNAKE ROAD
The Snake-road was blocked, as was the Woodhead road, and up near Glossop Cemetery, the snow lay deeper over a given area, than it did in the storm of a year ago.
In some places the snow was 10 to 12 feet deep and bus services were disorganised on some routes, and suspended on others. People working at Compstall found that the usual route via Charlesworth and Ludworth was not available, and so they were taken through Mottram, Hyde and Romiley to their destination.
The town service buses could not operate beyond the Commercial Inn at the Old Glossop end and Bankbottom at the Hadfield end. because Manor Park road, Glossop, was in a dangerous state, and at the other end of the four miles route, Station road, Hadfield, was about the worst part of the whole area, and the buses did not operate here until Tuesday, and even then only with the greatest difficulty.
TRAIN SERVICE IMPEDED.
The railway points between Glossop and Dinting were blocked, so that the trains could not run, and normal running did not operate until Wednesday. The line at Hadfield was also blocked for a time but gangs of men soon got the main line traffic moving.
On one or two days farmers delivered milk on horse-drawn sleighs, and food was taken to some outlying places on the back of a pony.
A few accidents occurred, many people having falls, but nothing of a serious nature has been reported. Work was continued almost normally, thanks to the determination of workers themselves and the bus drivers and conductors. These latter merit commendation for the way in which they kept buses on the road.


1942
Entries from West End School log book
20 January: A minor blizzard last night is the main cause of this morning’s low attendance of 71%.

1945
Entries from West End School log book
12 January: Attendance throughout the week has been adversely affected by the wintry weather.
2 February: Average attendance for the week has fallen as low as 74%, having been seriously affected by the further fall of snow at the beginning of the week and a subsequent rapid thaw.

1947
Entries from West End School log book
31 January: The attendance during the past week has been adversely affected by the severe wintry weather, the average falling as low as 77%.
3 February: Wintry conditions persist, and as a result of yesterday’s blizzard, attendance this morning has fallen to 73%.
4 February: As a result of the continued blizzards, only 64 pupils attended this morning. Instructions were received from the Divisional Education Office during the dinner hour to close school for the remainder of the week, but I have asked my pupils to resume school on Thursday.
6 February: School re-opened this morning; 84 pupils were present.
7 February: 91 pupils were present this morning.
10 February: Wintry conditions have persisted over the weekend, and though attendance is better, it remains as low as 73%.
14 February: Average attendance for the past week has been 74%. School closed for Spring Mid term Holiday.
19 February: School re-opened this morning. Wintry conditions persist, but an attendance of 88% is a considerable improvement.
26 February: More snow has fallen during the night. And the percentage of attendance has fallen from 91% yesterday to 73% this morning.
27 February: Attendance is back to 90% this morning consequent on an improvement in the weather.
From Jack Holden's book A Very Special School
1947 arrived in playful mood with capricious winds which sent snow-flakes fluttering under the eaves and into the roof space of the prefabricated rooms 20 and 21, plus enough frost to make football either doubtful or dangerous. It was, all fairly low key, about par for the month of January, and nobody took much notice of it. But just as February had appeared on the calendar, the weather suddenly exploded into action. Heavy and prolonged snow accompanied bitter cold and arctic winds and on Tuesday, 4th. February, all roads in and out of Glossop were blocked. Rooms 20 and 21 were untenable and only 140 out of 350 pupils shivered in their desks at G.G.S. It was severe, it was serious - so much so that on Wednesday 5th., the unthinkable happened. Glossop Grammar School closed.
The battle was resumed on the 6th. with the odds heavily against continuance. Mr. Riley was fighting a desperate battle with Ebullient Bill, that reluctant, elderly and much-repaired boiler, whilst watching with dismay the rapidly diminishing supply of irreplaceable coke. And in every room there was the quite ludicrous situation of staff and pupils involved in the process of education clad in coats, scarves, gloves and assorted warm and waterproof footwear. There never was a more compelling argument for school uniform : there never was a more obvious need for a new school. And it lasted - lasted long enough to make sure that there were no regular games periods until half-term and to have some of the older members of staff recalling, with something approaching nostalgia, those fearful days of 1940.

1955
Entries from West End School log book
17 February: A heavy fall of snow this morning made it expedient for Hayfield pupils to return home after dinner.
24 February: A severe blizzard has raged in the night, and attendance has fallen as low as 60% this morning, the conveyances for the Hayfield and Charlesworth pupils being unable to get through.

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Page last updated: 7 June 2017.