Grammar School boys come to the rescue in 1916

How the post got through!

Grammar School boys helped to clear the snow in 1916
Clearing the snow in 1916


Owing to the heavy fall of snow the annual teg show and sale fixed for Wednesday had to be postponed until Wednesday next. Campden had its full share of the blizzard. Four elm trees were blown down across the Aston main road, and the road to the station was impassable for vehicular traffic, the snow having drifted for about 100 yards near the church to a depth of about five feet. The Grammar School boys volunteered to fetch the mails from the station on Tuesday afternoon, and letters were delivered about 4.30pm. There was no delivery in the rural district until Wednesday, and this was only done with much difficulty. Mr George Haines attempted to take his milk to the station on Tuesday with a horse and cart, but had to return. On Wednesday Grammar School pupils and other volunteers cleared a road through the drift near the church, and about twenty men were engaged to cut a road to Broad Campden. People from the neighbouring villages had to trudge through the snow to fetch their bread. Telegraphic communication will not be possible for several days. All the trains scheduled to stop at Campden got through, but were over an hour late, and much damage was done to signals and wires.

We have received the following letter:-

Sir – I imagine that you happy people in the Vale have little idea of the effect of this recent snowfall on the less fortunate ones who live on the Cotswolds.

Even in this half-way house, as I may term it, of Chipping Campden, we have had our trials. But, with all our losses and discomforts, we have had our gleams of sunshine.The infusion of new blood into this somewhat sleeply (sic) hollow has certainly shown up well. I should like to give it a well-deserved pat on the back. On Tuesday morning last, just after the big fall of snow during the night, we had no delivery of letters; the mails were quietly reposing at the railway station, because a big snowdrift rendered all wheel traffic between there and the town impossible.

Though several able-bodied postmen were available, and though our enterprising newsagent had, with the aid of a small boy, brought up and delivered a heavy load of newspapers, it remained for a few small boys from our Grammar School to put the male adult population to shame, and to bring up the mails, in the afternoon, to the Post Office. I wonder whether our energetic postmaster really felt the irony of this exploit of the boys!

Again, a very big snowdrift, five feet thick in places, blocking the road to the railway station for about 100 yards, prevented all wheel traffic passing through. Yet it only needed a hint to Mr. Cox, the Grammar School headmaster, and about a dozen of his boys, aided by a few adult volunteers, worked like real Britons, and by four o’clock to-day (Wednesday) the station ‘bus was able to resume its usual avocation.

I venture to say that but for this leaven of young and energetic new blood, sleepy officialdom would have quietly turned over in bed, and we might still be waiting for our letters and any communication with the railway would only have been a painful and circuitous pilgrimage on foot.

All honour to our Grammar School boys and their energetic and enterprising head! –

I remain, your truly,


Chipping Campden, March 29.

This page was added on 19/01/2015.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *