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1836: Snow and two to a bed

... Our informant describes the road as being very bad indeed this side of Hicksted, and says that it can be passed only on foot or horseback; but that it would be impossible for any person to find his way without the assistance of guides well acquainted with the country.

We have received no intelligence from the country since Saturday, as a stop has been put to every means of comanunication. Even between this and Shoreham, a distance of only six miles, no road has yet been cut; and, should this weather continue much longer, fuel may become very scarce.

Several attempts have been made, but without success, to get carts to the harbour to fetch coals; the sea will therefore be the best channel of communication.

One of the King's messengers arrived here at 4 o'clock this afternoon. He left London yesterday morning by coach, and states that with great difficulty they got to Cuckfield by 5 in the evening, and just before reaching that town they were oblige to obtain the assistance of 25 men to help them in.

Two other coaches were also stopped there, the snow lying across the road ten feet deep.

The messenger came off at 1 o'clock today on horseback, and describes the snow through which a track has been cut as resembling in some places a wall of six feet on each side.

Such a sudden influx of unwilling visitors into Cuckfield made lodgings so scarce that many were obliged to sleep two in a bed. Several coaches were also locked up on the Cuckfield road.

We hear that 13 miles of the road have been cleared as far as Piecombe, and that the Sovereign coach has been got thus far: and several of the passengers have since walked into Brighton. If no more snow falls, one of the coach masters say, he expects to run a coach tomorrow (Wednesday).

29 December 1836, The Times

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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