It has not been a great spring – so far, at least – but temperatures have been more or less normal: unlike those of May 1935. The month in which King George V celebrated his silver jubilee started well, with fine, sunny weather, and highs of 23C.
But in the middle of the month, the weather switched rapidly from spring-like to wintry conditions, with temperatures plummeting and widespread frost on the night of 16 May. This caused severe damage to fruit and vegetable crops, especially in the orchards of Kent.
The next day, there were also unseasonal snowfalls, with up to 15cm (six inches) falling on the higher ground in Scotland and northern parts of England. This then accumulated in snowdrifts up to one metre high, blocking roads across much of Yorkshire, and causing disruption as far south as Devon and Cornwall – snow even reaching the normally very mild Isles of Scilly. Race meetings were cancelled, as was a golf tournament in Lancashire.
The Times boldly declared that this was “A Return to Winter”, but fortunately the snow soon melted, to be replaced by the usual unsettled weather and showers.