Hundreds stranded on the M62 by snowdrifts, roads out of Bradford jammed by peak-hour traffic, and three dead. This was the winter of 1979, with some of the worst blizzards in living memory.

According to one T&A reporter who had spent the night out on patrol with police officers, the journey into the punishing Pennine blizzard could only be described as a “Journey into white hell.”

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Declaring the M62 a disaster area, police patrols rescued scores of travellers from their stranded cars and lorries before taking them to Hartshead Moor Service Station which had become an emergency rescue centre.

And four teachers and half-dozen pupils from Tong School, in Westgate Hill Street also settled down for the night in the school staff room. None the worse for their adventure, the children had apparently enjoyed themselves. “At least they were fed and watered and they were warm,” said one school spokesman.