THE recent snowfall may have caused chaos across the country, but it was a mere “dusting” as far as brothers Brian and John Turner were concerned.

The pair can remember snow up to six-feet deep when they were growing up in Watling Street, Affetside, in the 1940s.

The village was isolated for weeks on end, when wintry conditions and its rural location left it cut off from the rest of the world.

Brian, who now lives in Thorn Lea, Harwood, said: “The snow we had recently was just a dusting. I have never seen anything like the snow in 1940. It is something I will never forget, as was 1947.”

Although he was only nine-years-old, Brian has vivid memories of 1940.

Now aged 78, he said: “It was the first winter of the war and it was terrible. The bad weather lasted for weeks and weeks.

“There was no water on tap in Affetside in those days and the toilets were outside. Coal ran out very quickly and we had to burn wood all winter to keep warm.”

The most memorable part was the birth of his brother, John, which was reported in many newspapers.

Brian, who has five children and 12 grandchildren, said: “It started snowing on January 26 and carried on all through the night.

“By the time my mother was ready to give birth the next day, the snow was six-feet deep. It was impossible for her to get to the hospital.”

A midwife braved the deep snow to travel from Tottington to support his mother, Blanche, as she delivered the baby.

And Brian’s father, John, set off for Great Lever, in Bolton, to get his own mother, who would help to look after the family.

Brian said: “My dad set off to walk to Bolton in the blizzard and got completely lost.

“He finished up in Hawkshaw at a mill where soldiers were living. The snow was so deep that he had to roll down the fields. That was easier than walking.

“He eventually got to my grandmother’s house, but it took him six or seven hours. He was absolutely exhausted and caught a bad chill.

“We then didn’t see him for two or three weeks. There was no way back to Affetside, because the last bus had got stuck in a snow drift and stayed there for weeks.”

Seven years later, heavy snow returned to Affetside and was welcomed by young brothers Brian, aged 16, and John, aged seven.

John, now aged 69 and living in Stonesteads Way, Bromley Cross, said: “It was a good winter to be a child and I remember Christmas, 1946, as my best ever.

“My father had recently come home from the war and it was the first time I had proper presents.

“It snowed heavily in early 1947 and it was about five-feet deep. The drifts were so deep that we could walk onto the Pack Horse pub roof.

“It was probably a terrible time for the adults — but it was great for children.”