February 7, 1947 – The Great British Freeze Of 1947 –

The Blizzard of 1947
The Freeze Of ’47 – Sub-zero temperatures come to Britain like clockwork – so does the element of surprise.

February 7, 1947 – BBC World Service- London Letter – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

February 7, 1947 – A Freeze this day – a large and cold weather front was sweeping across the UK in 1947. It happens like clockwork – Britain and in fact most of Europe go through freezing and sub-zero temperatures around this time of year, and have since changes in the weather were recorded.

Still, this Freeze of 1947, as it was going down in the history books, somehow managed to take most Britons by surprise – or worse, most Britons without power or water or transportation – just freezing inside unheated homes, plagued by bursting pipes and otherwise stranded in any one of the hundreds of towns, hamlets and outlying suburbs – not to mention London, frozen to a standstill.

This news report – part of the weekly series Letter From London by the BBC and transmitted to radio stations in the U.S. focused on the less earth-shattering stories of the day – the reconstruction of Europe during the Post-War period (which was still very much going on), the political climate in the UK under a Clement Attlee led government.

Also covered in this report from commentator MacDonald Hastings is news that the UK was still not producing enough coal and was still struggling to recover from the fuel shortage in general as a result of the War. Much of it had to do with a shortage of workers who were killed during the war – and this labor shortage was taking its toll on day to day life in Britain. Coupled with the fact that truck and rail transportation were severely hampered by the loss of vehicles and railroad rolling stock – it added to the misery that was the Winter of 1947.

And that gives you some idea of what was going on in the rest of the world, this February 7, 1947 as reported over The BBC World Service.

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