Looking Back: Northampton in the snow

Clearing away the snow from Northampton's Drapery at its junction with Gold Street are four workmen with shovels. The lorry in the middle of the road is steam-powered which must have provided a welcome warming presence during the harsh winter of 1947 which began on January 21st. Several cold snaps brought wide-spread chaos with coal shortages at power stations resulting in  domestic electricity supplies restricted to a chilly nineteen hours a day. Crops rotted in fields adding extra hardship on top of rationing, still in place after the Second World War. 'The thaw in Mid-March caused widespread flooding throughout the UK.
Clearing away the snow from Northampton's Drapery at its junction with Gold Street are four workmen with shovels. The lorry in the middle of the road is steam-powered which must have provided a welcome warming presence during the harsh winter of 1947 which began on January 21st. Several cold snaps brought wide-spread chaos with coal shortages at power stations resulting in domestic electricity supplies restricted to a chilly nineteen hours a day. Crops rotted in fields adding extra hardship on top of rationing, still in place after the Second World War. 'The thaw in Mid-March caused widespread flooding throughout the UK.

The first fall of snow and the roads, railways and even pavements make journeys impossible - the whole town seems to grind to a halt.

So how has Northampton and its people coped with wintry weather in the past?

Children with days off school made for the nearest slopes dressed in gloves, coats, hats, scarves and wellies.

Snowballing, sledging and even open air skating - though ice-skating on frozen rivers is definitely not recommended with all the dangers involved.

However, business must still go on, so the walkways, highways, byways and waterways need to be kept free of ice and snow.

Shovelling snow will certainly warm up the person wielding the spade even in the harshest weather.

Perhaps winters were worse in the past or was it that fewer people had central heating? Maybe chilblains were common because clothes weren't made of modern, light weatherproof fabrics so perfect for fun in the snow?

Cars and lorries would still get stuck on icy roads but there weren't as many journeys made at all and maybe more people walked to work, school and the shops.

Whatever our view of snow, it still looks beautiful and is undeniably fun unless you have to get somewhere in a hurry.