1962: Heavy snow falls on Burnley

St Peter's choirboys
St Peter's choirboys

The end of February, 1962, saw heavy snow fall on Burnley.

According to the Express of Saturday, March 3rd, the weather had cost Burnley Corporation £1,300 to combat.

The Norths

The Norths

The considerable extra expenditure went on transportation of labour, extra transport, the use of snow ploughs and overtime in the Cleansing and Transport Department.

Such matters today are the responsibility of Lancashire County Council, rather than the local authority, and I imagine some people may well wish for a return to those days.

The worst affected areas in February, 1962, were Eastern Avenue and the Ridge. The easterly side of town suffered the full force of the north-east winds, and snow ploughs were out for a continuous 24 hours.

The local authority put down 400 tons of salt, grit and ashes.

Edward Stocks-Massey

Edward Stocks-Massey

Meanwhile, three angelic faces beamed out from page three of the same edition as the paper ran a short feature on the St Peter’s Church boys’ choir.

The choir then had a complement of 28 boys who spent four hours each week practising for Sunday and special services.

The boys rehearsed under the careful direction of choirmaster Mr Percy Greenwood, and had a repertoire of up to 60 anthems, as well as hundreds of chants.

Meanwhile, a long-running cartoon strip “The Norths” made its 224th appearance in the episode of “Fallen Star”.

Sponsored by Massey’s Burnley Brewery, the cartoon strip was unashamedly a plug for the famous local beers.

Product placement, normally seen in Hollywood films and major sporting events, was to the forefront of the cartoons where pints and bottles of Massey’s ales always loomed large.

And the characters always seemed to be enjoying a pint of mild or golden bitter whatever the occasion!

The company owned more than 150 pubs and off-licenses in Burnley – more than are in existence today.

The brewery, formed in 1889, grew rapidly in the 1920s when it took over several local breweries.

But perhaps the Massey’s name is today most famous for the Stocks Massey Bequest, which still helps out good causes. Edward Stocks Massey bequeathed part of his fortune to the town of Burnley when he died in 1909.

Massey’s was itself taken over by Charrington United Breweries Ltd in 1966.