6 February 2020

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As we sit in our offices at Emmanuel, feeling the February cold, Emma member Charles Hope (1960) shared the following story with us, about a much colder winter in the college!

[Below: Ducks on frozen Paddock Pond, 1962]

A group of ducks on the Paddock pond, which is frozen and covered in snow.The Winter of 1962–63 was one of the coldest on record and certainly the coldest in my life.  With the winds blowing across East Anglia, all of us wore pyjamas or tracksuits, or even both, under our trousers for week after week.

One morning as I was coming down the stairs from my room at the top of North Block, I met my Bedmaker on the way up. She said she just had to tell me something, and what follows is her story, (virtually word for word) as my memory of it remains vivid:

"I came in this morning and as I passed our washroom,  I saw Gladys [the other Bedmaker on my Staircase[ standing in front of the sink.  She was holding something under a running tap and being a bit coy about it.  I asked her what she was doing, and she said she was thawing out her teeth. She had put them in a glass of water in the bathroom last night and it was all frozen solid in the morning.  I asked why she hadn't thawed them out at home and she said 'All the taps were frozen too, throughout the house. The only water was what was left in the kettle! I was going to use that and then put it back in the kettle to make my husband's thermos flask of tea that he takes to work. He refused to let me. He was not having his tea made with water that my teeth had been swimming about in, so I wrapped it all up in a tea–towel and brought it in here."

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