MANY of you enjoyed Jane Dicken's fascinating photos last week of Weymouth and Dorchester in all weathers.

We conclude our two part series, firstly with a look at the Borough Gardens in Dorchester after the devastating Great Storm of October 15 1987, which mainly people still remember, if only for weatherman Michael Fish's misguided assertion during a forecast.

He said: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!".

That evening, the worst storm to hit South East England for three centuries caused record damage and killed 19 people.

The devastation in the Borough Gardens is clear to see, with uprooted trees and branches littering the town centre park's footpaths.

Some of the trees, which had been there for decades, were snapped in half as though they were twigs.

The mighty trees that were uprooted seemed to take much of the grass with them, as their roots were torn out of the ground.

It's not often that we see Weymouth covered in snow, but this was the case in the winter of 1962 to 1963...and then some.

In the picture we can see deep snow piled up next to a very desolate looking Tourist Information Centre in Weymouth.

There's also this fascinating shot of a Westwey Road clear of vehicles, covered in snow and with the seemingly foreboding sight of seagulls flying around.

Jane said: "I remember the beach being frozen solid and seawater freezing at the waterline.

"There were freezing temperatures for several months. It was horrible and before my parents had central heating!"

Jane, of Southill, Weymouth, says she doesn't have any specific memories of the storms that used to sweep across Dorset when she was a child.

She said: "It seems to me that our weather has changed somewhat.

"The pictures of the snow in Weymouth in the winter of 62-63 I remember very well. The temperature dropped below freezing before Christmas and didn't rise above freezing for months.

"I have never been so cold. The snow was quite deep in places and had been 'ploughed' to the sides of the main roads, but the side roads were a mess.

"The snow became slushy during some days but then it froze solid and was impossible to walk on safely. It was the only time that stiletto heels were useful as they acted like ice picks and prevented many a slip up!

"My husband and I were married in the February of 1963 and it was snowing on the day.

"We couldn't afford a proper honeymoon, but we went by train to London for a few days. I remember the train was so cold and there was deep snow all the way up to London.

"London itself was a mess of black slushy snow everywhere and I had a pair of white stiletto shoes as part of my "going away" outfit. They didn't stay white for long! It stayed so cold for so long it was miserable. I remember my Mum saying that the ice and snow didn't thaw, it just evaporated. On New Years Eve 1962, with friends, we 'celebrated' by running across the beach towards the sea.

"The sand was frozen solid and the sea frozen at the edge.

During that prolonged cold weather, Jane remembers a family in a car stranded halfway up White Horse Hill in a heavy snowstorm.

They decided to stay put in the car for the night or until they were rescued, running the engine for warmth, with tragic results as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jane said: "In those days Radipole Lake and the inner harbour would freeze over regularly in winter and the youngsters would dare each other to walk across it! "Surprisingly I don't remember any mishaps.

"Winters are certainly milder now, with more wind and rain I think. But didn't some clever weather man tell us that this is what we can expect!"


t: 01305 830973

e: joanna.davis

twitter: @DorsetEchoJo