Marina Donald of Edinburgh, a place which you'd think would provide plentiful stories of its own about severe weather, has been in touch with her memories of the terrible weather in Dorset 40 years ago when Weymouth was cut off by snow for three days.

She ended up with a flood in the house after a burst pipe, resulting in the ceiling collapsing.

She remembers: “There had been cold easterly winds and hard enough frosts for sea ice in the inner harbour. “When the wind went round to the sou'west there was a blizzard on the night of February 18 to 19, trapping a train in the cutting between Dorchester and Weymouth for eight hours.

“Weymouth was cut off by both road and rail for three days. I went back to work by train, which was packed, as no-one could drive. The snow was feet above the train roof.

“We were living in Preston at the time. Knowing we'd be moving, I was away at half-term, seeing about schools for the children.

“I'd left the heating on, but turned down the thermostat. On Monday February 13 my neighbour, who was using my washing machine, was greeted by water pouring out of the light fittings.

“She turned off both water and electricity, bailed out the water from the ankle deep kitchen. She phoned my mother to ask permission to phone a plumber to fix the burst pipe.

“We cut our trip short, returning on Thursday February16 to find a steaming house with a mattress dried in wonderful Margaret's house, but with a totally sodden airing cupboard.

“I could make up our ten-year-old daughter's bed in son's room, but had to use brand new double sheets ... “Much later I was told by workmen that if my daughter had been sleeping in that bed when the ceiling gave way she'd have been killed outright.

“On Friday February 17 we threw the horrible smelly spare bedroom carpet out on the front lawn and spent the day at the launderette. On the morning of Sunday February 18 my front door step was clear; my neighbour had only head and shoulders showing above a snow drift.

“The kids charged off into a snowdrift and sank in up to their armpits. Welly boots became a problem: I wore my husband's, absent in Norfolk, Virginia, where they had ice storms, my daughter wore an elderly neighbour's, my son wore his sister's, until he decided (at the age of eight!) to put hot water in them to melt the snow!

“We had four pairs drying on the boiler which was on 24 hrs (no dehumidifiers then) to dry the house! As the snow was thawing (on Tues February 21) I had to walk to the hardware shop at Chalbury Corner in Weymouthto buy cat litter, as the cat was refusing to put her delicate posterior anywhere near the snow....

“We all helped each other and shovelled snow, and cleared paths.”

Thanks to Marina for those snow related memories.