everybody has a story to tell about their life

1947 Great Blizzard

Peter Rowe, 2013

Peter: 1947 was the year of the great blizzard and Mark Prout came up and it was young Mark driving and the headmaster had said ‘I don’t like this weather at lunchtime’, looking a bit snowy and that and said perhaps they had better all go home so he sent for all the buses to came which was a good move and it snowed, no wind just still but it snowed great big huge flakes, hell of a stuff. Mark got us back with a lot of slipping and sliding, how he got us down Poltreworgy Hill, damned if I know but he did, he got us back and I know Father came up to meet the bus it was deep then and when we went down the hill, looking down into the harbour was the most beautiful sight, they was no waves it was absolutely still but every rock was a mound of snow and the tide was about a third of the way in, coming in, pushing this great wall in front of it and it snowed and it snowed and it snowed but that night it blew a gale and a blizzard and next morning everything was cut off and nothing came in and out of Port Isaac for three days and that was quite dramatic really and we boys were absolutely delighted and I know we thought we did a fantastic job we reached Trewetha as an adventure and I always remember Fred Mann went up to a telegraph pole and said ‘here we are boys the north pole. (lots of laughter) but it was really deep and you was ploughing through it sort of thing, nothing was moving and then on a third or fourth day Father said look the train comes into Port Isaac Road Station with all the papers, he said ‘I’ll make a sledge’ and if you boys want to, he said we’ll go out and get the papers back to Port Isaac so Father had his sledge which we towed between the three of us, Jack Father and meself and then we went to Port Isaac Road Station and piled up all the papers, well in those days papers were very thin and small like the Telegraph would only be four or five pages sort of thing you know. We brought them all back on the sledge and delivered them all around the village, nothing else came in or out then and then the next day, I think, the mail van arrived and things started they started to clear the roads ‘cos it was the roads that was the big problem, the fields were almost clear of snow because of the blizzard it had blown anywhere it could. I remember going back to school a long time after and snow was still in the fields against the ‘edges, the shaded side of the ‘edges so that was quite a dramatic winter that was ’47 I think it was.


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