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The Winter of 1933

From the Barwicker No.92
December 2008

Tony Cox has searched the newspaper archives and found reference to the Storm during the winter of 1933. Apparently the weather was horrendous in this area due to snow and ice and Scholes was especially hard hit being a commuter route into Leeds. Even the trains which, usually managed to get there no matter what the weather, became yet another casualty of the heavy snow. The large snow drifts caused havoc everywhere and although the trains did eventually manage to get through to their destination they were delayed by several hours.

The local Station Master, Mr Millbanks, must have been quite relieved when the last train on the Saturday left the station. He could look forward to a day of rest on the Sunday. However that was not to be as the 9.43pm train had got stuck just prior to entering the main line and had to be pushed back to Scholes. It finally left for Leeds at 5.20am on the Sunday. The train due to arrive at Scholes at 11pm Saturday finally turned up at 1.40am Sunday! Two of the Ďlightí trains which pass through Scholes at 11pm and midnight respectively, became snowbound at the Stockheld Crossing and the railway workers were still out moving trains at 11am on the Sunday morning.

So Mr Millbanks didnít get his day off. He and his staff were working all Sunday, in extremely cold conditions, until midnight to ensure the lines were passable for the Monday trains. Although they had worked during their free time by Monday morning only one line was usable.

However it was not just the railways which were fighting the very heavy snow storm. Walking on the roads and footpaths proved extremely treacherous and electricity was cut off all day Sunday and didnít get switched back on again until about 4pm on the Monday. Houses which had an Ďall mains wireless setí would have felt rather cut off from the rest of the world as the Sunday papers were also unable to get through. The newspaper article expressed gratitude to Mr Millbanks and his staff for all their effort and hard work to get the trains running again.


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