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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:10 pm 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8049
Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express
Wednesday 16 January 1895

Scenes On A Snowy Sunday

Trams Blocked and Places of Worship Empty.

To go to bed with a dry frost and awaken next morning to witness the streets of a great town several feet deep in snow is the incident of a winter, but not every winter. Heavy snowfalls are bad enough for all those whose business takes them out of doors, but when there is a cutting wind blowing and the snow comes down in minute particles and is whirled about in blinding sheets, then it must be very near to those blizzards of which our transatlantic friends talk. So it was over Saturday night, and so it continued until Sunday morning, when the streets of Burnley presented a most inhospitable appearance. Some parts of the thoroughfares were, it is true, almost clear, but in others the snow had drifted to an unusual height. Just over the canal bridge, in Westgate, and near to the end of Trafalgar-road it was heaped up to a height of nearly five feet. Fortunately, however, it had just escaped the tram line. Notwithstanding the state of the weather, quite a number of persons journeyed up during the day to Whittlefield to see the ruins of Mr. Jesse Simpsons's warehouse, which were to a great extent enshrouded in snow. In many places in the main thoroughfares where large drifts lay along the side-walk, small beaten tracks were the rule, and pedestrians had to proceed in Indian file, sometimes even a wait being necessary to secure the right of way. The Sunday-schools, in some instances, were so very poorly attended in the morning that holiday was given to the young folks for the remainder of the day. The congregations at the different places of worship were also very small, and when the worshippers at Brunswick Chapel came out and wended their way along Manchester-road, the thoroughfare was almost entirely deserted except for themselves, the usually busy road reminding one forcibly of some street in a small country town. At Wesley Chapel somewhere about a score attended, and many other places fared no better. In the evening, however, things were somewhat improved. The juvenile portion of the community enjoyed themselves immensely, literally rolling in the snow and throwing it at each other. In some of the steep streets slides were soon in existence right down the centre for the entire length, and dozens of even grown-up people were indulging in sliding. In Stanhope-street, off Royle-road, where there is a considerable declivity, and the street is blocked at the top, a slide extended to the wall surrounding the gasometers, and the sliders attained a very rapid rate of speed in coming down the whole length. Men and women, lads, young girls, and children were all joining in the fun, the amusement of numerous onlookers. In some cases several young girls or women came down one after another and holding on to each other, sometimes piloted by one of the oposite sex. Occasionally there was a spill, in which dignity counted for nothing and where the sliders rolled pellmell over each other down the hill, indescribably mixed. One woman unfortunately got such a bump on the back of her head that she had to be carried into her house, but this did not deter others from taking part in the sliding. The mails, as far as can be ascertained, were not seriously intefered with, but the letter carriers were mush impeded in their deliveries. The tramcar traffic was also considerably interrupted and the snow-plough had to be called into requisition. Subsequently, two of the large engines had to be used with one of the smaller cars to keep the service from Nelson to Padiham open. On Monday large gangs of men with horses and carts were set to work by the Health Department to clear away the snow from the main streets. The most serious interference with the tramway traffic of which we have heard was on the Nelson route. Beyond Queensgate as far as the borough boundary the snow had drifted to varying depths. In some places it was a foot deep, but for a distance of about 400 yards it was from two feet to six feet. A couple of engines and snowplough were employed to open up communication, but these were inadequate, so a large body of men had to be engaged to clear a passage just at the borough boundary, where the drift was the deepest. After many hours of hard toil traffic was open, the cars at this particular place going between walls of snow. Even then a couple of engines were required.

The Scene On The Moors
Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson has kindly sent the follwoing interesting description of the scene on the moors:-The night of Saturday will long be remembered by the people who live on the adjoining moorland districts in East Lancashire. Huge banks of clouds fringed the horizon in all directions, and the fall of the barometer and the piercing east winds on Saturday morning were premonitory symptoms of the coming storm. In company with a friend we left the old hostelry at Mereclough (where a party had been entertained by mine host at the Fighting Cocks) about half-past eleven on Saturday night, and
"sich a night we took the road in,
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in;
That night a chiel might understand
The de'il has business on his hand."
The moaning wind as it swept across Cliviger Moor carrying along with it vast quantities of snow from the upland districts, blew right in our faces, and made it almost impossible to see more than a few yards ahead. The road from Mereclough to Worsthorne lay at right angles with the course of the blinding sleet, and we encountered the full force of the blast in our faces. Coming to the lane end leading up to Foxstones, which runs to the eastward and parallel to the course of the storm, we were for a time unable to advance a step. The snow torn into small shreds as fine as flour blew right into our faces and enveloped us as if we were to be entombed on the spot. The wind fairly roared and shrieked again. In all my experience I never encountered such an elemental storm. Ever and anon the snow dashed against our faces in a shower of icy pellets; at times so intensely cold that we had scarcely any feeling left, and we could scarcely tell whether our ears were on or off. In the midst of this storm my imagination carried me to the fearful struggles the gallant Captain Nansen must experience in his attempt to reach the North Pole, more especially when we take into consideration that he is probably thirty degrees farther north. Passing through Worsthorne, which seemed from the glimmering lights of the chamber windows to have gone to bed; and arriving midway, we found the road was completely blocked, the snow being level with the wall tops. We had to take to the fields over hedge and ditch until we arrived on the verge of Swinden Valley. Here we met "a real buster." The storm roar'd down the gorge from Widdup Head as if "'twould blow its last." Every ditch and road was drifted up with the driving snow and every now and then we were floundering overhead in it and glad indeed were we when we saw the friendly gleam of light which shone from the cottage window - the happy haven of our aspiration. On Sunday morning the storm still continued unabated. All the roads were blocked. No milk from Extwistle could be sent to Burnley that morning. The door of our cottage was sealed up under six feet of snow and Roggerham-lane was levelled up with snow. The two cottages adjoining the public-house were drifted up, both at the doors and windows, and the inmates were in happy ignorance of the time of the day until old Jack Hooson, a good six feet of muscular christianity, like a good Samaritan, with shovel in hand, worked his way to the door and liberated the inmates. May his shadow never grow less! A number of men are busy at work clearing a path for the milk-carts, otherwise there will be a milk famine in Burnley. On Monday a man's cap was found on the top of the snow, near Shay-lane, and it is to be hoped that the owner does not lie entombed beneath the snow, which lies in deep drifts immediately adjoining. T.W.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:35 pm 
Sage of Simonstone
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:07 pm
Posts: 1600
Location: Burnley
Sliding in the streets? Heaven forfend - it wouldn't be allowed now. What about health & safety? :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:35 pm 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8049
Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express
Saturday 02 March 1895
Some weeks ago our columns contained details of the effects of the severe weather in Burnley and the district. The snow-drifts were in many instances quite unusual, and cottagers in the rural portions had to be literally dug-out by sympathetic friends and neighbours, while quite a large expenditure was entailed upon some of the townships by the employment of labour to cut through the drifts on the roads. In spite, however, of the recent thaw and the consequent disappearance of the ice and snow in the town, there are still great piles of snow on the roads in some of the surounding country districts, and in the vicinity of Roggerham several drifts still measure about seven feet in height.

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