THE YEAR THE HARBOUR FROZE

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE YEAR THE HARBOUR FROZE' page

Sleepers hole in February 1963.

By Laurie Stonehouse

 We are still talking about our current winter, with December being the coldest since records began! Those of you old enough will need no reminding of the winter we endured from the second week of December 1962 through to March 1963 when an unusual amount of snow fell and sub zero temperatures were recorded day and night.  The majority of the UK had snow lingering on the ground into May,  Newhaven wasn’t spared even with its slightly warmer micro climate.  Protection from the South Downs and a warming river enables our town to escape the majority of the winter extremes, but 48 years ago it was so cold the harbour started to freeze. The following picture shows pancakes of ice had formed in Sleepers Hole, which is now called the Cresta Marina, the marina pontoons were constructed during 1964/65, also in view in this picture is the K-shed with its curved roof.  This large warehouse was one of two with this particular one being demolished in 1967 to make way for the new Fishers terminal, the other warehouse with same design was just a little further down the East quay, this too was demolished some twenty years later.

This page was added by Laurie Stonehouse on 14/01/2011.
Comments about this page

I was an apprentice carpenter at Bannisters Builders.  All the craftsmen etc were laid off, the Bricklayer apprentice Bob Clear and I had to come into work and clean up the Ioiners Workshop and paint it. We had a great time doing it. Great time cycling in on the snow, there were no other bikes or cars about.

By Terry Howard
On 16/01/2011

Hi, I remember the winter of 1962/63 very well. Whilst that Terry (the writer above) was nicely tucked up in that cosy heated carpenters workshop, us plumbers where out there with our bikes and blowlamps mending burst pipes . It wasn't easy going from Transit Road to Southdown Road say, with a bag of tools, can of paraffin, blowlamp and a pair of steps, all balanced on a bike. I would often pass other plumbers like Terry Hollands (I think he worked for Bannisters), Bernie Rugg, Ben Turner, Oscar Walser, Spas Purcill and my own workmate Taffy Wells, just to mention a few. My foreman, at that time, would often say to me that my blowlamp was using rather a lot of paraffin and at that paraffin was scarce. What he didn't know was that I gave most of it to the elderly folk at Southdown Close etc for their heaters. It was a long hard winter. Lorry loads of snow were dumped on the stoney beach and got compacted into solid ice, traces of which were still found in May. Since then, until recently, the winters have been very kind to us. I bet that Terry is laughing his head off reading this.

By Colin Brandon
On 31/01/2011

Yes Colin, we were nice and warm there were two coke cast iron fires one at each end of the workshop. We used to cook baked potatoes on top of them. There was also a gas ring which was used to boil up hoof and horn glue. We used to boil a kettle for our oxo drink. At about 5.15 I used to chop up the firewood and get everything ready for the next morning. I remember Terry(ollie) Hollands, he did work for Bannisters, he was always up to tricks especially with a putty gun with which he was a crack shot. Bernard Rugg also worked for the firm, he was a good friend of my dad, he put the central heating in our house at Wellington Road Denton in fact he was doing it the day JFK was assasinated in 1963. Oscar Walser was the father of Steve Walser who later came on the firm as an apprentice carpenter.

By Terry Howard
On 04/02/2011

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