SCRCA Secondary Reference: Review of "Dent" by W.R. Mitchell (Castleberg, 1995) for Dentdale Snow Screens

Submitted by mark.harvey / Wed, 12/04/2017 - 22:05
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The following is an extract from page 80 of W.R. Mitchell's book “Dent: The Highest Mainline Station in England" (published by Castleberg in 1995):

Cecil Sanderson (Sandy), who took-up his duties as Stationmaster [at Dent] in the autumn of 1938, was soon aware of the ferocity of a Dent blizzard. The troublesome quarter was the North East, and the snow overswept Widdale Fell to be arrested (briefly) by the snow fences, which did not mean much. "Snow was heaped up behind the first row. In no time at all, snow would be over the top and into the next row. It would go into the third row. The next thing was the up-waiting room, then the up-line. I've seen snow piled up so that the top of the drift went from the roof of the waiting room straight across to the door of my office on the other platform. We used to get drifts up to forty feet deep in the big cutting between Dent and Rise Hill. And a train - even a snow plow - might be buried in it."

The following is an extract from page 83 of the same publication:

Dent's snow defences - the aforementioned rows of upreared sleepers - are useless when the snow outstays its welcome. "they thought the fencing would make the snow accumulate short of the railway," Jack Sedgwick (signalman) once told me. He added: "It didn't stay off the lines. It just carried on regardless." In 1947, the Dent length was blocked for eight weeks and, when they'd warmed-up, the snow cutters were able to hang their coats on the tops of the telegraph poles. "The wind causes the mischief. In that bad winter, it blew day and night."

Both extracts are quoted here by kind permission of Dr Mitchell.