THIS WEEK IN 1979: Solent souls suffered snow and shivers

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As the Solent area returned reluctantly to work after what for many was a ten-day lay-off, the police message to motorists came over loud and clear: ‘don’t drive unless you have to.’

Despite this warning, most roads in Hampshire and Sussex were reasonably clear, although the A272 from Petersfield to Winchester, blocked by snow since Saturday night, was described by police as ‘still dodgy.’

The A34 north of Winchester was blocked for several hours early in the day when a lorry jacknifed near Sutton Scotney. Diversions could not be organised because minor roads in the area were too dangerous for heavy traffic.

Only one road on the Isle of Wight was out of action – the ‘back of the island’ –Military Road between Shanklin and Freshwater. Other roads were described as ‘negotiable with great care.’

Roads in the Portsmouth area were mostly in reasonable condition for commuters, but side roads still had to be negotiated with great care.

Eastern Road was closed on Sunday because of severe flooding caused by high tides and snow drifts, re-opening late on Monday afternoon.