Saturday, 5 March 2011

Blackpool Snowbound, 1981

The snow that blanketed much of the country in December last year had happened before in Blackpool in 1981.

On the evening of Sunday December 13 1981 Blackpool suddenly realised that an almost unheard of amount of snow had fallen within not much more than an hour.

A full eight inches of snow had covered the ground and was left merrily to freeze overnight. The resulting ruts meant that it was impossible to turn off a main road into a side street if no one had done it the night before, whilst the snow was still soft. The snow was so packed and hard that it was like being on rails. All that turning the steering wheel did was make the car judder whilst the ruts took you in the direction someone else had gone before!

These photos were taken a week later on the 17th December and the snow still hadn't gone.

This is a view of Bank Hey Street looking south towards the Tower and Victoria Street. The first photo was taken from the pedestrian bridge over the Promenade. It was demolished in 2010 as part of the Promenade and sea defences refurbishment.

Traffic travelling south on the Promenade Road had to use the offside lane unless they were turning into Talbot Square due to a stubborn and unofficial traffic island!


  1. Chrissie Turkington5 March 2011 at 17:34

    I just about remember that year. The snow fell, as you say, very quickly. Just at the time where me and my family were in the Opera House enjoying(!) the Schools Christmas concert. I think I was too young to be in it that year but I suspect my big sister was. Anyhow, we got outside and found the snow had come down which seemed really magical to a 5 year old girl but a total disaster to a 30+ year old father who was desperately trying to find which car parked neatly at the side of Birley Street and covered in a substantial amount of snow, was his! (I don't think two excited 5 and 8 year olds will have helped!). We had great fun wiping all the snow off the cars until we found our lovely bright green Vauxhall Cavalier. I don't remember much about the drive back but do remember my dad trying really hard to get the car up the slight incline at the back of our house that led to the garage. That was quite amusing to me, but obviously not that amusing to my dad. The following few days although we tried getting to school (which again was an adventure!), it was closed. I suspect this time it was my mum that was annoyed ;-) I must have been a real handful!

  2. A good memory preserved there! I can just imagine your dad getting all worked up at spinning wheels whilst two giggling girls are shouting in glee! And Vauxhall Cavaliers... There's got to be an article there... :-)

  3. The Snow fell on Sunday afternoon 13th December.

  4. I remember it well I got stuck in Poulton with a 2 week old baby ....after 2 days the boys from Fylde Farm were all out pushing the cars up Newton dr x


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