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Is there worse still to come; AS SNOW FALLS ACROSS BRITAIN, WE LOOK BACK AT THE WORST WINTERS TO HIT THE MIDLANDS.

Byline: BY ROY BAYLISS

1947SNOW fell in large parts of Britain this weekend as weathermen predicted a chilly white Christmas for the Midlands.

But the expected festive snowfalls are unlikely to match those of the legendary winters of 1947, 1963 and 1987, still ranked as the worst in living memory.

Back then, Arctic-style weather brought the country to a standstill with huge drifts blocking main roads and leaving whole communities in the Midlands cut off.

Today we take a look back on the days when Birmingham became Brrrrrrum and the Midlands was a real winter wonderland

THE Midlands shivered under the heaviest snowfall since 1814 - and one of the coldest winters on record.

Every day for two months snow fell somewhere in Britain, causing drifts 20ft high in parts of Birmingham Many Midland homes were cut off for days and had to rely on food supplies dropped by military helicopters.

When the thaw finally set in, rivers burst their banks, leaving huge areas underwater

1963A BLANKET of heavy snow covered almost the entire country in December and lakes and rivers froze as temperatures plunged. Blizzards continued into January and Midland roads were blocked off by huge drifts.

Food stocks ran dangerously low in rural areas and farmers unable to reach their livestock had to let sheep and cattle starve to death in the fields.

It was so cold that ice patches formed on the sea around Britain's coast and beaches were strewn with ice boulders

THIS was one of the biggest freezes of the century. Britain suffered its coldest spell since 1740 with temperatures plunging to -9.1[bar]C (15.6[bar]F).

Blizzards created snow drifts up to 40ft deep in Kent while the Midlands saw drifts of 16ft.

The Arctic freeze lasted through until February when mild weather brought a welcome thaw

What's the worst winter weather you can remember?

And how did you cope? Write to Snow Joke, Sunday Mercury News Desk, Weaman Street, Birmingham B4 6AY or e-mail SundayMercury@ mrn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

COLD SNAP: shoppers battle through the snow in 1947; ICY: Coventry Road, Small Heath and (below) the Bull Ring; BLIZZARD: traffic is dug out on the Alcester Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham; BITTER: ground staff get the Birmingham City pitch ready for game against Bury; CHILL: icicles form on window sills and guttering in Northfield; Birmingham; BLEAK: the rush hour fails to arrive on Corporation Street, Birmingham; FROSTY: danger on the Hollywood bypass, south of Birmingham (left) while people make their way into the city centre from New Street station
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 27, 2005
Words:428
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