CHAMBERS’ CORNER: More About Warmth At Christmas

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!

By Bob Chambers

chambers snow job

Chippawa Park pond, photographed Wednesday morning, January 10th, 1962

I never thought that this picture I took at Welland’s Chippawa Park pond on January 10, 1962, would lead to where it has.

When former Wellander Rob Paola, now a big-time Environment Canada weather guru out on the Prairies, where they know a few things about weather, blogged about how cold it actually was on that day 53 years ago, I surely didn’t see it leading me to a very warm Christmas shortly after I was born. But, when Rob sent us a link to all the temperatures ever recorded at every major site in Canada since 1872, it struck me that I might find the verification of a story told by my parents as long as I can remember.

They surely remembered the date, Christmas 1940, with accuracy, as my mother was pregnant with my sister Norma, who was born just 29 days later. The detail that they remembered was, on that Christmas day it was so warm, that they had many windows open in the house …… as most of the big windows in our house in Sherkston faced south, and the low, warm December sun, came streaming in.  Would Rob’s link verify this tale?

Indeed. Christmas Day, 1940, was the second warmest on record (60F), with the warmest (just 62F) being way back in 1895. Now these are Welland temps, but with Sherkston being about 10 miles away as the crow flies, an accurate measure too because some of it is over Crowland, they’re corroborated by Buffalo temps, barely a dozen miles east, being within a degree. This year’s Green Christmas, enjoyed by all of us, didn’t even come close (high temp in Welland Christmas day 2015 was 46.4F) to that 1940 high.

When she grew up Norma became a primary grades teacher and had a huge connection with Welland where she lived, while teaching for the Niagara South Board of Education. She was at both Darby Road School and McKenny School when they were closed forever. Then at Afton and Princess Elizabeth (where she spent Friday and Saturday night during the Blizzard of ’77), before finishing her career at Cooks Mills. Often when shopping in Welland, former students would come up to talk to Miss Chambers.

Anyone remember Miss Chambers?

Thanks to Rob Paola for bringing all this back to me.

Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957-1970

Your comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer/author.

(Chambers’ Corner is a popular, recurring feature on the blog.)

1 thought on “CHAMBERS’ CORNER: More About Warmth At Christmas

  1. Rob

    Bob.. Glad you found that Welland climate link of interest. Sure is interesting to go back in time and see what the weather was like at various times in our history. When you keep track of weather records for a long time, you’ll see that wild and wacky weather has always happened to some degree.. it’s not just a recent phenomenon.

    For those readers who want to access to Welland’s weather data back to 1872, click on the following link..

    Note that this data ends in 2014 when the Welland climate station at the Westside Firehall closed in August. Weather records for Welland are now taken from the Welland airport at this link..


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