Every year Staffordshire County Council prepares itself for winter by stockpiling salt and checking our gritting fleet is in full working order. We have 28,000 tonnes of grit and 40 gritters ready to combat even the harshest of winters and ensure we keep Staffordshire on the move, when the cold weather hits and if snow falls.
But how bad is the snow we get these days? Is it worse than in the past? To find out we had a look through the files at Staffordshire Archives and Heritage for some pictures of Staffordshire winters gone by.
Milford Common, 1951
Milford Common is a great place to go sledging and it seems that people from 1951 (pictured) had the same idea.
One of the most famous and coldest winters of the past was in 1947.
The UK experienced several cold spells bringing large drifts of snow to the country, blocking roads and railways.
You can see how high the drifts were in this picture of Highway Road, Uttoxeter.
Clearing these record snow drifts in 1947 wasn’t easy.
The image opposite shows a group of workers having to clear snow in Uttoxeter with just their shovels.
I bet they would have loved to get their hands on a snowblower!
This photograph is of the village of Ashley.
It’s taken from Forty Acres, looking towards Church Road. The person in the image is carrying something white, possibly a snowball?
Maybe the photographer is in for a surprise…
Going back a bit further, this picture is of a group of New Zealand soldiers stationed in Cannock Chase during the First World War.
They were nicknamed ‘The Dinks’ on the camp as they were considered to be good, honest (dinkum) soldiers. Their mascot was a Dalmatian dog named Freda, whose grave can still be seen on the site of the camp. Luckily for them it doesn’t seem as though they had to put up with too much snow while stationed on the Chase.
The earliest photo we found – over one hundred , years old is this picturesque one taken of a dog by Milwich Hall playing in the snow.
From looking at these pictures it seems as though we get less snow these days than we used too. Then again maybe it just seems that way because we don’t tend to take as many pictures of the winters where it didn’t snow.
What do you think, does it snow less than it used to?
Tell us about your experiences of snowy winters gone by in the region in the comments below – or send in your own pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to learn more about Staffordshire’s history then please visit the Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Facebook page where they often post information about the documents they have preserved.