Friday, 2 January 2009

Winter in West London, 1963

January 1963 saw freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls blanketing the capital. For me, aged five and a quarter, this was an exciting event, made more so by the imminent arrival of my brother (who would be born on 14 January of that year). I clearly recall the atmosphere of those wintery days. The sky was dark grey, England was unprepared (my winter togs were a duffel coat, wellington boots and woollen gloves that quickly got sodden), roads were treacherous. For a child, it was primarily seen in terms of fun, rather than inconvenience. Above: Croft Gardens in the snow (click for full-size image). A snowball fight is underway, while homeowners clear snow from the pavements outside their house. I'm the little boy on the right.

Right: The view from our veranda out onto the garden. At the bottom, you can just make out how high the snow piled up against the door. This pic has strong memory associations for me; I recall how excited I was as I stood waiting to rush into the deep snow. I'd never seen so much. That foreboding dark grey sky, the physical cold - and the desire to run shouting through the powder.

Photos by my father, Bohdan Dembinski

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