Christmas Days: snow and ice

We should really have turned to something seasonal by now. Do you remember the winter of 1963?

Campden Hill Road 1963 (snow) - Copy

I suspect it’s a case of you had to be there. This picture is from that January in Campden Hill Road, looking south down the hill and it looks cold and treacherous underfoot, but we’ve all seen snow before. I was seven years old then and I don’t remember the cold. But I do remember my mother taking me to walk on a frozen river.

The river Dee in Chester is not a particularly deep river. I’ve waded in it and (in summer) swum in it, even rowed on it. But only in that particular winter could you walk on it, and see people skating on it. So that’s why I remember the cold days of 1963.


This was further down river, in the city. We were at Dee Banks. But it gives you some idea.

I don’t think the Thames froze in Central London in 1963 although I’ve found picture of places like Windsor with people walking on the river. And while I was looking at Kensington Gardens last week I found this images of a crowd gathered on the forzen Serpentine.

Kensington Gardens skating 712.5 KEN-Jh K61-1174.

And John Bignell liked a snow scene, whether it was sliding on  Wimbledon Common:

Wimbledon Common frozen pond - Copy

Or getting more serious:
Wimbledon Common skating - Copy

Look at that bench in the background, just dropped through the ice, making the skater’s job a little harder.

If that looks too risky you could always try some serious snow balling in Tedworth Square.

Snow in Tedworth Square 1959 - Copy
That was in 1959 according to the man himself.

It hasn’t been a white Christmas although according to the forecasts, some of us might get snow tomorrow. There won’t be any in tomorrow’s post though.

I hope you all had a happy Christmas Day whether you were with family or friends or both. See you tomorrow.

Source of the Dee picture:


3 responses to “Christmas Days: snow and ice

  • Ruth

    I’m old enough to remember that winter here in the US, I was in high school, ninth grade. That was one of the few winters I actually had to wear boots (since I was a little girl, anyway), and I had to walk a little over a mile home after school so they were wonderful! I lived in Oklahoma City, capitol of Oklahoma state. The next time that weather was even remotely that snowy was when I was in my late twenties, and married with kids. We do get snow, and horrible ice storms at times, but it doesn’t do it every year! It can be mild or nasty, and sometimes very nasty! It’s kind o f a weird area. And Happy Holidays to you, I love your blog!

  • Saskia Daniel

    I was three during that winter and we still lived just off the Batswater Road and hadn’t yet moved to Kensington, which we were to do later that year. I skated across the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens with my grandmother and remember it so well.

    Very interesting to see the petrol station on the crest of Campden Hill. I had forgotten all about that.

    Thank you.

  • Minkie Best

    Yes, there were stand-pipes for fresh water, all the lead plumbing having frozen up. Of course, later there were lots of burst pipes when everything melted again. I went sliding on part of the Battersea Park boating lake. We were careful to avoid the thin ice by the trees, clear to see as it was a different colour. I also slid on various ponds in and around Richmond Park.

    The worst memory was one child in our street threw a snowball directly at my big brother’s ear, who cuffed the child. Next thing I remember was a delegation of irate and very frightening parents on our door step, with my mother taking the brunt of their aggression. I was then sent to Coventry by the other children in the street.

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