TEN years ago Colchester and north Essex was experiencing the worst snow it had seen in 30 years.

The first and second week of January caused gridlock on the roads and schools were forced to shut.

Speaking to the Gazette in 2010, weatherman Terry Mayes said the snow was the worst since 1979 when almost 11 inches snow fell on February 13 and 14.

Colchester was hit by a harsh winter again in 1981 when seven to eight inches of snow fell on December 7.

It lay on the ground for more than three weeks until the new year.

The 2010 cold snap started when temperatures began to dip on December 10.

Four inches of snow fell on December 17, and the sub-zero temperatures continued until the end of the month.

Snow fell again on New Year's Day and six centimetres of snow fell in one on night on January 6.

Mr Mayes said: “Over the past 30 years, we have been rather mollycoddled.

“The snow has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

This is the first time snow has lasted so long since the early 1980s.”


  • How the Gazette and Essex County Standard reported it


Essex County Council had 65 gritters out keeping the roads clear.

Shops cashed in on the cold snap with shoe shops saying sales of wellington boots and other sturdy footwear were red hot.

Staff at Colchester General Hospital treated 14 patients who had suffered injuries in the snow on one day.

Neighbours joined forces to build a 11ft tall snowman in Tiptree.

Wayne Smith, 23, needed a stepladder to place the head on the jolly white giant, in Willow Walk.

Thieves did their best to spoil the fun when they left the street’s newest resident to shiver without his scarf, hat and pipe – using a stick to knock them from “Mr Frosty” after dark.