Moretonhampstead Snow Pictures
Moretonhampstead Snow Pictures
It began snowing on Tuesday 5th January 2010, and by lunchtime there was a sprinkling of white everywhere. All the pupils who live on the moor and who attend South Dartmoor community College were sent home early.
It continued to snow overnight, and these photos, taken on Wednesday 6th January are the result. No school buses ran, so the town was full of kids sledging and making snowmen. People were skiing, snow-boarding, sledging, body-boarding, and I did see one guy going downhill on a full size surf board.
There was no sign of the snow plough, so the roads remained pretty treacherous, with mainly four by fours and tractors being the only transport running. More snow was forecast for the next few days.
People began to panic buy at the first signs of snow, so the Co-Op was out of milk, despite rationing the amount that people could take. No milk delivery was able to get through on 6th Jan. Bread also began to run out, again despite only allowing people to take two loaves per household people were filling their shopping carts to the brim.
By 6th January, the snow was not as bad as that which fell on 5th February the previous year, where people living out of town were cut off for a few days.
Check out rallysam's video below for a great picture of one of Thompson's trucks trying to negotiate the snow and the tight bend in town in 2009. Ironically, he was toting 30 tons of road grit! He made it in one piece in the end, without demolishing anything in the process.
Overnight temperatures on 6th Jan dropped to minus 7c, (minus 6.8) according to the weather centre at Postbridge - positively tropical when compared to the rest of the UK. Minus 15c was recorded in some parts of Scotland, minus 17.6c in Greater Manchester, whilst the coldest place in the UK was Benson at minus 17.7c - ouch!
By Friday 8th January a little of the snow had melted and the roads were passable with care. Most schools were closed, although Moretonhampstead Primary School was open, South Dartmoor community College was not. More snow was forecast for the weekend.
Between 6th January and 10th Jan, nighttime temperatures remained around minus 7c, although Dartmoor Hawking recorded minus 7c one night. Daytime temperatures remained below freezing most of the time.
10th January saw another extended snowfall that began in the early hours of the morning and carried on until around lunchtime. However, this time, roads remained passable, so there was less disruption to transport.
Monday 11th January saw milder temperatures, and snow began to melt. However, only one school bus ran to South Dartmoor Community College and that was for those pupils taking exams, so most children had another free day of sledging and the like, and most were praying for the heavy snow which was forecast for Tuesday 12th.
The 12th January saw heavy rain in the morning and the snow began to melt. Buses ran to South Dartmoor community College, so the kids were able to get to school. By lunchtime, the rain had turned to heavy snow that continued to fall for the next eight hours, and the schoolkids were sent home early. Moretonhampstead's roads were barely passable, and the snow plough was in action spattering innocent passers-by on their way to work with brown slush (thanks guys!).
13th January dawned white and misty, but the sun burned through to reveal a gloriously sunny day. Air temperatures were less cold than they had been, so some of the snow began to melt, but there was still plenty around for sledging. Snow up on Mardon stood in 2' drifts, and the roads were passable with a struggle (and four-wheel drive); Cossick Cross was particularly bad.
Thompsons Lorry Stuck in Snow Moretonhampstead 2009
14th January saw most of the snow melting, but then a sharp frost at sundown turned roads and pavements into skating rinks. By the morning of 15th January this was beginning to thaw, with temperatures a tropical 6c and steady drizzle.
The Tonight programme on 14th Jan compared Britain's snowy chaos with Finland. In the UK airports, roads and railways systems shut down, schools, shops and businesses closed, and no refuse was collected for three weeks. Our roads were left largely uncleared and our equipment is often old and tired. Finland invests heavily in snow-clearing, and the Finns interviewed were amazed at how our country ground to a halt; one man interviewed likened the UK to Finland in the 1950s. How reassuring!
Snow Hiking Equipment
Make walking in the snow much more comfortable by treating yourself to some proper hiking gear. The ice cleats in Dartmoor Hiking Strore would have made getting around so much easier - wish I'd had them for the snow! To find them click here, then look in the tabs on the right of the store.
St Andrew's Church
Sunset in the Sentry
Moretonhampstead from Mardon
St Andrew's Church
Where'd the Road Go?
Gorse from 2009's Swayling
Moreton's Latest Resident
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