Snow stopped play.

Here is Brick Hill, Valley End, under a thick layer of snow. The surprising fact is the date, April 24th 1908. Did Chobham really have a snowstorm in April? What was happening elsewhere?

Brick Hill Snow 150dpi

Valley End Chobham, Winter April 24th 1908. (Image courtesy of Dave Hizzey.)

On Easter Monday, 20th April, 1908, snow stopped play at the Oval.

Surrey were playing the Gentlemen of England in a biting north-east wind. When the weather developed into a snowstorm the match was delayed by 35 minutes.

Throughout the country, sporting events continued, despite blizzards. In Brooklands at Weybridge motor races went ahead in snow so thick that competitors on the far side of the track were lost to the sight of the spectators.

The Annual Sports in Cambridge continued regardless of the snowstorms. One of the novelty events, the smoking race – in which the entrants ran 220 yards whilst smoking fat cigars – would have been even less healthy in sleet.

Football was played, and races run, despite the snow; although tobogganing was popular in places – unusual for Bank Holiday Monday.

Elsewhere holidaymakers refused to be diverted by sub zero temperatures. Picnickers still packed hampers and crowded onto the icy grass at Alexandra Palace in London.

The Hampstead Heath Fair was its usual success. Lads shied at the coconuts in a blizzard, and merrymakers carefully picked their way to the roundabouts over freezing paths.

The steamers that ran pleasure trips on the Thames were nearly, but not quite, empty; which implies that some brave souls, having planned to go on a jaunt on the river, went, ignoring the gunmetal skies and Arctic temperatures.

The excursion trains to the seaside still ran. Clacton went ahead with the band concerts on the sea front, refusing to be discouraged by sleet and snow. (Although Ipswich found the Museum, one of the few undercover attractions, had a sudden burst of popularity.)

Newspapers reported with a gloomy relish that Iceland was warmer than England on Easter Monday. There were blizzards in the North and snow in Sussex.

It also hit Surrey, including Valley End. The weather hit Chobham too. An enterprising photographer, (probably Bill Stevens, the Valley End photographer,)  took this picture of Brick Hill, a record of the picturesque and unseasonable snow in  April 1908.

(For a more information on this freak weather, see Weather Online here.)



Cambridge Independent Press, Friday 24th April 1908.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 20th April 1908.

Evening Star, 21st April 1908.

Lancashire Evening Post, Monday 20th April 1908.

London Daily News, Tuesday 21st April 1908.

Western Daily Press, Tuesday 21st April 1908.


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