Freak snowstorms hit Burnley and Pendle women’s group

Burnley Soroptimist Club president Anne Munro in the snow drift near her home. (s)
Burnley Soroptimist Club president Anne Munro in the snow drift near her home. (s)

A WOMEN’S group became a victim of the freak weekend weather.

It had to cancel its annual charter dinner for the first time in its history because all roads to the venue were impassable and the president was stranded at her Blacko home.

Anne Munro tries to get through the snowfrift. (s)

Anne Munro tries to get through the snowfrift. (s)

Burnley Soroptimist Club, which has members from all over Pendle and Burnley, was due to hold its biggest celebration of the year at the Alma Inn at Laneshaw Bridge on Saturday.

But president Anne Munro woke on Saturday morning to find a huge snowdrift blocking the lane to her Blacko home and no way to get out.

When she rang the Alma Inn she found that they were in the same boat with all roads blocked by drifts.

Anne, who lives at Great Stone Edge off Gisburn Road, Blacko, and works as a senior probation officer, is coming to the end of her presidential year and the 70th Charter Dinner would have been the highlight.

But she said: “My husband Graham went out with a shovel on Saturday morning but when he came back he said there was no chance of getting out as there was a drift about eight to 10 feet high blocking the lane.

“I went out to have a look and the drift was absolutely huge, it looked amazing, a sheer wall of snow. I’ve never seen anything like this since I was a child.”

Anne began ringing round to cancel the event which was to be attended by guests, including the international president of Soroptimist International, from as far afield as Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh.

“Some of the members were snowed in as well so couldn’t have got there, but the Alma Inn were wonderful, I can’t thank them enough. Many guests were staying there and they have refunded all their accommodation and given us our deposit back.”

The Alma’s general manager Ryan Taylor said the roads were blocked to cars until late on Sunday but quite a few intrepid walkers managed to make their way there.

He stayed over from Friday until Sunday to look after any customers who managed to get there.

Up to Wednesday of this week, Anne and husband Graham and her mother Mrs Mary Alston, a former Mayoress of Burnley, and some other residents of the hamlet were still stranded.

Fortunately family and friends brought supplies and left cars at the end of the lane for those who could climb over the drifts.

“We are just hoping we will be able to get out by this weekend. It’s been quite an adventure,” concluded Anne.