Snow of 1963

198 PREFAB XMAS 1960s 6 720 576 BACK GARDEN SNOW 1963 copy

Back garden of 198 Underhill Road in the snow, December 1963

I remember my Nan falling over in Underhill Road in the snow of 63, she broke her arm, it was never the same after that

Some interesting information about the snowfall in 1963 & 1947 can be found in the link below, just copy and paste in the search bar.


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16 Responses to Snow of 1963

  1. Ray Sweeney says:

    I remember the snow in 1963. I lived in Oakhurst Grove E. Dulwich and me and my mates built a large igloo in the street which was still there 3 months later in march. Because of the coal shortage there was no heating at Thomas Calton school so we were sent home for about three months, Great. The snow from the borough was piled up on Peckham Rye and was so deep that some remnants were still visible way into the summer. I remember trudging to the coal yard somewhere near Whateley Road with my dad to buy a sack of coal for 10 shillings.

    • John Chinery says:

      Thanks for your memory Ray, My Nan used to live in Whatley Road, she fell over in the snow in 1963, broke her arm and it was never the same after that, the Coal Merchant was Bicknell’s, my Dad hired a big Coal Cart from there for ten bob to move what little furniture we had to our new home, a Prefab in Underhill Road, I also went to Thomas Calton After Heber road, great times eh Ray, if you have any photos of East Dulwich it would be great to have them up on this site, All the best, John

      • Paul Newman says:

        I think I may have played in the same school football team at Heber. I remember a John Chinery being a good footballer.
        Paul Newman
        I lived in Friern Road

    • Jacqueline Roche says:

      I lived in Oakhurst Grove but don’t remember the snow but I was only 4.
      I went to Oakhurst Grove primary school.
      I spent lots of time with my gran who lived in Underhill Road with regular trips to Peckham, Jones & Higgins where I always had an ice cream from the foyer. Also often went to the park and played on the closed up air raid shelters and remember regular fair there too. I also remember the rag and bone man, the knife sharpener and coal wagon.

      • Snowli says:

        Hi I lived in Underhill Road for 15 yrs from 1946 till 1963 but missed the snow they were very good years I was always down Jones @Higgins I went to school Friern East Dulwich until I was 11yrs then went to Goodrich Road does anyone remember Dawsons Hill I think it is an estate now this all brought back very good memories . Thank you .

        • David Robert Livett born April 16 1939 says:

          Hello Snowli- I am Australian now but lived in Underhill Road opposite St Aidans Road (245) from 1939 until 1963. Dawsons Hill was there to climb every now and again but the view from the top was no as good as that from One Tree Hill. When I went back to London in 2005 there was a big block of flats on it. Friern Road was my first school as an infant, then I went to Heber Road and for high school went to Thos Calton that was then in Goodrich Road between Dunstans and Uplands Road. The snow they refer to was the 1962/63 winter, my last before I emigrated. Moving around, like going to work was very difficult, it was freezing cold and the pavements were difficult to walk on. The lake in St James Park was a good pointer to how cold it was and that year it froze enough for ice skating. I live n the eastern coast of Australia and it never gets very cold. In fact it is very much the opposite and I long for it to get cold for a change. I congratulate John Chinery for putting all this together and the rest of you for responding to it. You can go away to live but you never forget your roots.

        • Marianne says:

          I also went to Friern Girls School and I remember Dawsons Hill. (Devonshire Fish Bar – proud daughter of Mr & Mrs Smith)

    • Clifford Page says:

      Hi Ray, the coal yard was in Ulverscroft Road.

      Hi John, lovely memories flooding back to me after looking on your biography. I was taken to your site because I had typed into Google ” Alan Lancaster living above the coop in East Dulwich”. I was born at 4 Landcroft Rd in 1960. I am sure that aged about 11 yrs, I used to help the local coop milkman with his deliveries. The round started down at Goose Green and worked it’s way around East Dulwich, via the flats above the coop in Lordship Lane, where I was convinced I delivered to Alan Lancaster and at least one other flatmate. I was flabbergasted when at Christmas time one of the occupiers gave me a £3 Christmas box for my service throughout the year. I was much quicker at running up the steps to the flats above, than the poor old Milkie Brian. I kept quiet about the £3. I don’t know if you are able to shed any light, any info would be much appreciated. I went to St John’s and St Clements primary, then poshed it at Wilson’s Grammar (didn’t do me much good, apart from the sports activities). Thanks Cliff Page.

      • John Chinery says:

        Hi Cliff, Many thanks for getting in touch, always great to have new memories, I have added them to my website…….Francis Rossi & his first wife Jean lived in the flat above the co-op, they moved there after moving out of the Prefab in Underhill road, I remember Rick Parfitt used to visit there quite a bit and I’m sure Alan Lancaster must have to……I used to go out with Alan’s sister in the 1960s, we both went to the same school, her name was Doreen Lancaster, she lives in Australia now.

  2. Dave Livett (Brisbane Australia) says:

    I remember the winter of 1946/47, I was approaching my eighth birthday. During that winter lots of things were scarce and rationed due to the war. We had fire places then and did our best to keep warm. That winter as far as I know is still in the record books for its ferocity. I remember when going to school my mother and maternal grandmother would make sure I was well covered, balaclava, scarf, overcoat thick socks, I don’t think much of my skin was uncovered.

    As time went on there were other problems, smog was one of them! ghastly, horrible thick fog that had industrial smoke to go with it. The government legislated to get rid of the industrial smoke but of course the fog remained.
    In the period 1952/53 (I think) massive storms hit the east and west coasts of Great Britain and lots of people were drowned at sea or killed on land. The coastal vessel Flying Enterprise, the British Rail ferry Princess Victoria, Canvey Island, the north coast of Devon and East Anglia were all casualties of that period.

    Neither London Transport nor British Railways Southern Region acquitted themselves too well during the fog and ice, being late for work became a fact of life. My last winter in London 1962/63 very nearly equalled that of 1946/47 but by then we were better equipped to deal with it.

    • Janis Funnell (Stroud) says:

      I lived in East Dulwich Grove from 1947 until 1963 I left for Brisbane, Australia in 1967 so I do remember the cold of 1947 I think our chimney caught fire because I remember the fire brigade marching up and down the stairs putting the fire out. also remember the smogs of the 50’s and 60’s as kids we used to have to wear what they called ‘liberty bodices’ a sort of fleece lined under waistcoat during the winter and were not allowed to remove them until the end of May! Live in Redlands City and at the moment suffering long hot humid days and could do with some cool weather.

    • Richard Beadle says:

      I was born in January 1947 and whenever they refer to the coldest winters on record, that year is mentioned. My poor father was running around in the snow at midnight trying to organise a midwife. The family had neither a car nor a telephone (like everybody else) so it was not easy. I believe an officer at the old police station in Crystal Palace Road managed to get a midwife to Whateley road in time for my arrival.

      • John Bown says:

        Hi Richard I remember well the winter of 1946/47 . Me and a few lads used to toboggan down Landcroft Rd on a piece of curved corrugated iron from an old air raid shelter only stopping when we hit the railings of the basement flats at the bottom of Whateley road. I’m not sure but your brother John could have been one of the madcap idiots that we were

  3. Dave Livett says:

    Hello Janis
    Dave Livett is my name and i live in the Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove, have done for 46 years. I was born into an Underhill Road East Dulwich family in 1939 went through the exceptional winters of 46/7 and 62/3 and emigrated to NZ in 1963, A few years later I met my future wife and as a result moved to Australia and married in 1972. With the coming of Pcs I eventually discovered these web sites and so I keep up with earlier days.

  4. Jonathan Brown says:

    We knew a family called Funnel when we lived near them in Crystal Palace Road near Goose Green in the late 50’s, they had 2 daughters & had a lot to do with St Johns church..?

  5. dave livett says:

    Hello Jonathan
    In my last year at Heber Road Primary School. 1949/50. a Mr Funnel was the science

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