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This lorry driver’s heartfelt letter to people of Derby after being stranded in snow 48 YEARS ago

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Have you ever been so touched or moved by the efforts of others that you’ve been compelled to send a thank-you letter? It seems like this lorry driver was – which is why he has sent a letter thanking the people of Derby for their help when he was stranded in the snow. The strange part is that he’s sent the letter 48 years after the incident happened!

But it seems the kindness of the people in Derby has stayed with Tony Devon for many years and, not only did he feel compelled to send the thank-you letter to the Derby Telegraph, he even drew the above cartoon to illustrate what happened all that time ago. Here we show you the full wording of the letter, entitled ‘Derby Ring Road Miracle’, as written by Mr Jevon, of Hayling Island – an island off the south coast of England.

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The letter reads as follows:

“Dear Editor, “A little bit of history for your nostalgia section and a chance for me to say a huge thank-you to the wonderful people of Derby. “In the winter of 1968/69, I was driving lorries for Chadwicks of Liverpool and had just tipped at Boots in Beeston.

As I left Nottingham, it started snowing. I arrived at the Derby Ring Road at 1pm already ankle deep. “Traffic was nose to tail and the by-pass was soon gridlocked.

I wasn’t halfway round when local workers spilled out of work and swelled the already struggling volume of traffic. “Early evening and we were still stranded when a miracle happened. I had been stuck in the traffic jam for about six hours when, suddenly, people’s front doors opened and the inhabitants came among us bearing tea and biscuits.

There were hundreds of us, surely it could not have been organised. For me, it was a life saver as I had not eaten since the day before. As anyone in transport knows, heaters were a waste of space in old British lorries and a warm cuppa was so very, very welcome.

“I finally broke free of the Derby Ring Road at 10pm. After struggling around it for nine hours, I could finally head for Merseyside very tired and freezing cold. “Yet the tea and biscuits and the friendliness of the Derby people had warmed my heart and it stills stays with me to this day.

“Thank you Derby. “PS. There were no mobile phones in those days.

My wife had no idea what had happened to me.”

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What do we know about the snow of 1968/69?

When describing some of the worst winters Britain has faced in the past 100 or so years, the winter of 1968-69 doesn’t usually come up. However, one glance at the photos in our archive tells us plenty. The snow fell thick and heavy across parts of the UK, including the East Midlands, the North East and Wales.

This photo, below, was taken in Leicestershire in February 1969. Looking at Derby, we have some lovely photos submitted by Lyn Faulkner which snow Darley Park in the snow.

These were also taken in February 1969.


  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Link to full article (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ Drone footage shows what American Adventure site looks like now (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)

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