IN THE freezing winter of 1933, Bacup and Stacksteads were hit by some of the worst blizzards for 20 years.

Roads were made impassable by huge snowdrifts leaving buses and other vehicles stranded, with farms and outlying areas completely cut off.

Snow began falling one Friday afternoon in February, following days of bitter cold weather and within hours a blizzard raged around Rossendale.


By the evening, huge snowdrifts had covered the area, bringing traffic chaos throughout the Valley.

The weather took a turn for the worse during the weekend, with farmers and outlying villages having no alternative but to dig themselves out.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Buses were suspended from the Friday night until the following Tuesday.

Four farms on the old Roman road, leading from Step Row, Broadclough to Deerplay Bar, had to be dug out by corporation workmen.

On the Sunday morning, while trying to deliver his milk, Norman Howorth of Higher Deerplay Farm, became stuck in a drift with his horse and cart, near Doals Church.

Residents in a row of houses known as Newkin or Nook End at Deerplay woke on Sunday morning to find the snow had drifted to the top of their doors and covered their windows.

One of them, Albert Taft, stood on a chair in his doorway with a shovel and tunnelled his way out of the house though others stayed imprisoned in their homes all weekend.

There was no work done at the Deerplay Colliery that weekend, either, thanks to the nine feet of snow which covered the rail track running along the moor.

The hills around Britannia had drifts up to 16ft deep and railroads and trucks at both Cowm Quarry, Britannia, and Lee Quarries were buried under several feet.

There have been many other heavy snowfalls on the town and another to hit the area, developed from a bright day in January 1963, to a night of howling winds and blinding snow, which piled 12ft high in some places.