I've been catching up with my mum's 1947 Diary and checking out what was happening during March.
Remember the winter weather in 1947 was the worst on record thus far. The extreme cold and heavy snow continued in the first half of the month and high winds resulted in deep drifts with 25 feet recorded in some places. There was severe disruption to isolated communities and to road and rail transport.
On 5th March my mum (Doreen) noted that the “snow was fairly thick” and it was “snowing again” on March 7th and then on
Wednesday 12th March
Went to work, snowing all afternoon.
Bus did not come.
Got home 7.15 consequently could not go to Night School.
Did some knitting.
Then the temperatures started to increase and heavy rainfall occurred. March 1947 proved to be the dullest March since records began; the wettest March since 1869; and the widespread flooding that occurred as the terrible winter began to thaw caused further devastation and over three billion pounds of damage in today's money.
On Saturday 15th March Doreen noted:
Put Clocks forward one hour
Daylight Saving or Summertime was originally introduced during the First World War in both Germany and Britain. This was to maximise the extra hours of daylight by moving the clocks forward from GMT one hour in Spring and back again in the Autumn. The practice was continued in Britain right through the nineteen twenties and thirties.
In 1940 the clocks were not put back in the Autumn and then the following year they were put forward again in the Spring. This created double summertime for the duration of the war. The situation reverted to solely GMT in 1945.
After the war the severe fuel shortages of 1947 made the re-introduction of Daylight Saving a necessity.
On Tuesday 18th March, Doreen recorded:
Got up late again but managed to catch bus.
Not too bad a day.
Stayed in at night did knitting and French.
Snow is thawing rapidly.
The warmer temperatures combined with the rapidly thawing snow lead to some of the worst large scale flooding ever seen in England and Wales. Because the ground remained frozen, the melt water went straight into the rivers and in the course of a few days the rivers Thames and Lea in the south, the Trent in the Midlands and the Ouse, Aire, Derwent and Wharfe in Yorkshire all burst or rose over their banks. Over 100,000 homes were affected and the army had to undertake aid and rescue missions.
Despite the weather, Doreen was determined to have her Saturday night out. On Saturday 22nd March she recorded that she:
Went to Modern School Dance at night.
Not too bad.
N.B. walked me home.
What a thrill.
N.B. was my dad and this was the second time he'd walked her home …… not too difficult to work out how this story is going to end!