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Days Gone By - Do you remember when heavy snow fall brought Ipswich to a standstill?

PUBLISHED: 14:10 28 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:19 29 December 2016

1952 saw snow and gale force winds in both March and November. This photograph was taken at Swilland. (Photo by Doug Cotton).

1952 saw snow and gale force winds in both March and November. This photograph was taken at Swilland. (Photo by Doug Cotton).

Dave Kindred

The shortest day of winter is now behind us, but the next few weeks are the most likely time for us to have the lowest temperatures and snow, writes David Kindred.

Children crossing The Mount, Ipswich, in February 1956. St Mary at the Elms Church is in the backgroundChildren crossing The Mount, Ipswich, in February 1956. St Mary at the Elms Church is in the background

In this week’s Days Gone By I have taken a look back at past winters. In February 1956 the East Coast of England, from Yorkshire to Kent, was covered in huge amounts of fine powdery snow, which drifted and blocked many roads and services. St Mary at the Elms Church in Ipswich is in the background of this photo.

Ipswich trolley buses in the snow of late February 1958. This photograph was taken as they arrived at the Tower Ramparts bus station.Ipswich trolley buses in the snow of late February 1958. This photograph was taken as they arrived at the Tower Ramparts bus station.

The snow fall of 1958 was sudden and cut off towns and villages. Many children were stranded at their school.

This photograph was taken January 23, 1963, as the ex Shoreham lifeboat, en route to Whitby, was freed from the ice by a larger vessel. (Photo by Alfred Smith).This photograph was taken January 23, 1963, as the ex Shoreham lifeboat, en route to Whitby, was freed from the ice by a larger vessel. (Photo by Alfred Smith).

But one of the worst was from Christmas 1962 to March 1963, when rivers froze with a fall of snow and very low temperatures that lasted for months. It was the coldest winter since 1740 and a cold east wind kept temperatures below freezing for much of that period.

The River Deben covered in thick ice at Wilford Bridge, Melton, in 1963The River Deben covered in thick ice at Wilford Bridge, Melton, in 1963

Snow drifts 12-feet high were recorded at Wickham Market and 40ft ice-flows stopped the ferry service from Felixstowe to Bawdsey.

Tavern Street, in January 1979 - This photograph was taken from close to the junction with Upper Brook Street, looking towards the Cornhill. (Photo David Kindred/Archant).Tavern Street, in January 1979 - This photograph was taken from close to the junction with Upper Brook Street, looking towards the Cornhill. (Photo David Kindred/Archant).

January 1979 was the coldest period since 1963, with the temperatures down to -11c in the region and heavy falls of snow causing major disruption.


Youngsters doing their best to clear a road on the outskirts of Ipswich in January 1979. (Photo by Tony Ray/Archant). Youngsters doing their best to clear a road on the outskirts of Ipswich in January 1979. (Photo by Tony Ray/Archant).

While children and winter sports fans find it fun, for most the struggle to get to work, shops and to get children to school, make frozen conditions an unwelcome visitor.

A dog walker in Ipswich in January 1979 (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant).A dog walker in Ipswich in January 1979 (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant).

All forms of transport are badly disrupted and most are pleased when a thaw sets in.

The Town Hall, Ipswich, during a heavy fall of snow in January 1979. (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant).The Town Hall, Ipswich, during a heavy fall of snow in January 1979. (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant).

The owner of this bike wasn't going far in 1979The owner of this bike wasn't going far in 1979

Traffic using one lane of the dual carrigeway at Trimley in January 1987. (Photo by John Kerr/Archant).Traffic using one lane of the dual carrigeway at Trimley in January 1987. (Photo by John Kerr/Archant).

1987 brought another major snow storm, with the coast the worst affected.

Deep snow in the Trimley area in January 1987. Conditions were worst close to the coast with police warning drivers not to take their cars out. (Photo by John Kerr/Archant).Deep snow in the Trimley area in January 1987. Conditions were worst close to the coast with police warning drivers not to take their cars out. (Photo by John Kerr/Archant).

Difficult conditions for pedestrians and motorists on Henley Road, Ipswich in January 1987. (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant)Difficult conditions for pedestrians and motorists on Henley Road, Ipswich in January 1987. (Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant)

Who were these girls who built their own igloo in Ipswich in January 1987? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
Who were these girls who built their own igloo in Ipswich in January 1987? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

Difficult driving conditions at Holbrook in 1987. Many places in Suffolk failed to see the temperature rise above -8c  on Monday, January 12. (Photo by Owen Hines/Archant).Difficult driving conditions at Holbrook in 1987. Many places in Suffolk failed to see the temperature rise above -8c on Monday, January 12. (Photo by Owen Hines/Archant).

Delivering milk was hard work after the havey snow fall of 1991 - this was taken in HolbrookDelivering milk was hard work after the havey snow fall of 1991 - this was taken in Holbrook

Do you have any memories or photographs of heavy falls of snow from the past?

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