Shropshire

Winter 1982 in Shropshire: Memories of coldest days

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Media captionShropshire was 'colder than the south pole' in record-breaking 1982 winter

Snow as high as hedgerows, a wedding in doubt and taps thawed by candles - these are the memories of those who remember England when it was "colder than the south pole".

Tuesday 10 January marked the 35th anniversary of England's lowest recorded temperature.

Edgmond, near Newport, Shropshire, dropped to -26.1C - bitter conditions recalled in a video that prompted a nostalgic response on BBC Midlands Today's Facebook page from those who lived through them.

With thoughts returning to 1982, people have been sharing their experiences from that winter.

'Magical' wedding

Image copyright Karen Fryer
Image caption Snow threatened to put a spanner in the works, but on the day, only the bride - judging by this photo - was in white

One woman's build-up to her wedding was spent wondering whether the groom would make it.

Karen Fryer, from Shrewsbury, married on 23 January 1982; a "magical" day of "perfect clear blue skies".

But a week before David Fryer was due to say "I do", he was stuck in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, in Wales, and did not get back to the West Midlands until the night before the wedding - "just in time", Karen said.

"We weren't worried about the day being called off, we just kept laughing at the idea that someone, anyone willing, would have to stand in on the day.

"My husband and my dad thought they might have to clear the path to Shawbury Church in the morning so there were no slip ups, but the sun shone and the day was beautiful.

"The snow didn't keep any of our guests away, everyone attended."

Frozen tap

Image copyright Shropshire Star

Heavy snow and arctic temperatures are not ideal conditions for a home's renovation, but that was what faced Margaret Tillott, now 75, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

The mum-of-six was having her kitchen and bathroom knocked down in the winter of 1982.

"A new bathroom was put in upstairs and the extension was open to the elements. I had to turn the water off every night and go out every morning to turn it on, sometimes having to thaw out the tap by warming it with a lit candle."

The weather also meant the bus that took her disabled son to school did not always run, meaning she had to push him down "the snow-filled road".

"I often look back as one does and wonder how I did it," she said.

'Sparkling drifts'

Image copyright Shropshire Star

Abbie Mirwald grew up in Newport and was six in 1982, remembering it as an "incredibly exciting" time.

"I remember blue skies and bright sunshine just after the snow fell.

"There were huge icicles, white trees and sparkling drifts.

"I went for walks with my mum, dad and sister and played in the street on my friend's sledge. The snow came over her little brother's head."

'No heating'

Image copyright Shropshire Star

Hazel Hampton, from Tibberton, Shropshire, remembers "heating soup and water for tea on the log burner as the oil for the central heating had frozen in the pipes".

She said: "We all sat round the log burner trying to read and play games by torch and candle light.

"We were warned that water supplies may cut out as things got worse, and filled our baths with cold water to boil and drink when the supply failed."

Hazel's daughter Nicole Hampton said: "It was like the 'really good old days' when families spent evenings together, gathered around the fire in one room, actually talking to each other.

"It would be an even bigger shock to our systems now I think, what with internet, streaming TV on demand, online games and social media having been developed since then."

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