For January’s object of the month we look back at some wintery weather with a photograph of the Oxford Canal near Hillmorton Locks taken 42 years ago in January 1982. It shows large chunks of broken ice on the canal’s surface. Many boats had been left ice-bound by the cold weather. The photograph was taken by Joseph Hogg who worked on the canals for many years.
In early December 1981 the severe cold snap began and continued through to mid-January. It was one of the coldest winters in living memory as people endured blizzard conditions and the lowest ever recorded temperature in England (-26.1 C in Shropshire). Snow caused travel chaos locally and one Saturday open air market in Rugby saw only 10 of 200 stalls open for business. After the freeze came the thaw which led to the River Avon bursting its banks, flooding hundreds of acres of farmland and both Leicester Road and Newbold Road.