Snowfall brings Hailsham to a wintry standstill

Toby and Tayah Trumble at Greenwich Road Town Farm
Toby and Tayah Trumble at Greenwich Road Town Farm

HAILSHAM and the nearby towns and villages were covered by an icy blanket after the heaviest snowfall in almost 50 years.

Youngsters made the most of an impromptu snow day on Thursday after an impressive seven inches of snow fell overnight on Wednesday, bringing the town to a standstill.

Terry Evenden, churchwarden of St Mary’s with Emmanuel Parish Church in Hailsham, snapped these pictures from the tower of his church – giving roof top views of the town covered in snow on December 2.

Meanwhile Helen Proctor from Upper Dicker captured wintry images of Michelham Priory in Upper Dicker, where the moat was frozen over.

Icy road conditions forced schools, nurseries and day centres across Hailsham and the nearby towns of Hellingly, Herstmonceux, Chiddingly and The Dickers to shut, amid warnings from East Sussex County Council advising people not to travel.

But according to local historian Eddy Powell, from Western Road in Hailsham, the town was not as badly hit as its neighbour Eastbourne, where nearly a foot of snow fell.

“Traditionally in Hailsham we get off quite lightly,” he said.

“The last time it was really bad in Hailsham, which we haven’t seen yet, was in 1963 when it was knee high. It hasn’t been that high around here yet.

“Between 1963 and 1965, nobody got around and everybody was just sensible.

“Nowadays we have a little bit of snow and everybody panics and clears out the shops.

“This time it was about six inches at its worst. That’s nowhere near what it has been in the past.

“In the 1900s, people used to skate on Common Pond - that’s how thick it was. It has been progressively getting warmer over the years.”