I was stuck in the 1978 blizzard
MADAM - With reference to your article on Page 30 of last week s Sidmouth Herald nostalgia item regarding the blizzards of February 1978.
MADAM - With reference to your article on Page 30 of last week's Sidmouth Herald nostalgia item regarding the blizzards of February 1978. I was one of those people stuck at the Hare and Hounds pub.
Your picture showed two men by a car buried in the snow. The man on the left is Brian Lister and the one on the right is myself (Maurice Roche).
I was an ambulance man stationed at Honiton Ambulance Station but lived in Seaton at that time and I was working 3pm to 11pm shifts. On Saturday, February 18, I left home at about 1pm to start work at 3pm, having previously had problems getting to work and home again on the Thursday and Friday.
I had to turn round and come back and go through Sidford and Sidbury and I managed to get as far as the radio masts just past the Hare and Hounds. By this time it was getting on for 3pm. On walking back to Hare and Hounds I found several other people in the same predicament.
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Most of the people stranded were ordinary travellers and did not have bad weather clothing. Having been caught before, I had the right clothing and therefore was able to help Brian Lister outside filling churns with snow. (One 10 gallon milk churn full of snow produces about 2 gallons of water), clearing paths and getting in firewood etc.
Morale was high although we were sleeping on the floor and there was a log fire going day and night. The ladies that were stuck helped Beverly Lister with the cooking and cleaning etc.
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On Tuesday 21st, it was my four-year-old daughter's birthday and, although I was stuck at the Hare and Hounds, we were joined together by Gus Honeybun reading out her birthday on the television. On the Wednesday we had word that the diggers were coming up from Sidbury so Brian Lister and myself went out to find the cars that were buried in the snow (Photo).
I think we found about five cars completely buried. I remember finding one that, when we uncovered it, its roof had been dented by the weight of the snow but, luckily, the doors were unlocked and, on opening, the roof just popped up, leaving no damage.
We finally got out on the Thursday lunchtime. All I have got is praise for Brian and Beverly Lister for what they did for us in that snowbound location.
Maurice A Roche