In January 1987, Southend was cut off.

The snow started on the Saturday evening. I was in a pub in Great Wakering, drinking beer with a pal. We cycled there and he fell off his bike on the way back.

We had a curry at his place and I then made my way home, about 5 miles in the snow. It snowed all night and by Sunday morning there was about 8 inches lying.

That evening, at around 7 p.m., the temperature in my garden dropped to -14 deg C. My sister, who lives about 8 miles inland in a shallow valley, recorded -18.

About midnight Sunday the real snow started. By 2 a.m. Monday everything disappeared. I walked into work the following day and every step the snow was over my knees. I measured the depth at 19″ as a uniform snowfall. Other people came to work on their skis. The children’s school was closed for a week. Once the snow on the pavement outside our house had been compacted, you could lift it in ice bricks 6″ thick. We made an igloo in the back garden.

By the following Saturday evening a snow plough had worked its way down the dual carriageway to the north of the town and had cut a swathe about 7 feet wide through snowdrifts 6′ deep. The removed snow had been placed on top of the drifts. I cycled back to the same pub with an 8′ wall of snow on either side of me. It was an amazing experience.

We drank beer and had a curry.

Plus ├ža change!

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