Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1881, January 19, Wednesday 

Heavy fall of snow all day, but very little wind. Roads blocked in every direction. No post – Railway lines blocked and telegraph communication interrupted. I never seemed in so much danger of my life as in going to and returning from Epwell yesterday. I went up to School this morning – only 6 children were present. I ordered School to be closed for this afternoon at least.

1881, January 20, Thursday

Bright sunshiny morning. Carrier’s cart(? s) not able to go to Banbury. Austin Gardner drove but had to go over ploughed fields part of way – had to return several times and make fresh start. He drove tandem – but managed to go and return, only damaging some of his harness.

I walked to Sibford Ferris where a gang of men was engaged in digging out the snow, having been set on by Mr. Routh, Senior who is Waywarden. Our Way Warden at Sibford Gower Mr. Henry Hiorns has done nothing.

Visited Hannah Keene, Eli Webb, John Padbury and Job Harris.

Met Mr. Woolgrove, who had started to go to Banbury with Austin Gardner, but not thinking it safe for himself with his damaged arm, got out and returned. There are rumours of several persons in neighbouring parishes having been lost in the snow but no one of my parishioners has suffered any injury, so far as I can ascertain. A little damage has been done to some cottage and barn roofs.

Harry Lines, Carrier of Sibford Ferris, made the journey to Banbury and back.

No post again today but Fred Inns who saw the postman at Swalcliffe brought me one or two letters. Harry returned from Brailes but with some difficulty.

1881, January 21, Friday 

Walked round the village this morning. The drifts of snow were 10 or 12 feet deep in places. The “Turnpike” from Shipston to Banbury is quite blocked, but men were busy cutting a track. The snow has already sunk several feet and cuts out almost as firm as lard. I drove to Tadmarton this afternoon through Sibford Ferris. In places the road through the snow has been cut too much to the right so that I had to drive over one or two heaps of stones; but there was no other difficulty.

1881, January 22, Saturday

Drove to Banbury. Took Harry to Oxford for his first term’s residence as an unattached Student. Found lodgings for him in Walton Crescent,  no. 50. Rent 12/- per week – 6d. per scuttle for coals. Bob Braddell accompanied us from Banbury to Oxford where we parted.

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