It may be freezing outside but spare a thought for the Cestrians of the early 1960s - when the weather was so cold it turned the River Dee into solid ice for weeks.

This fantastic video taken by student Raymond Good in the winter of 1962-1963, shows how temperatures plummeted so low that youngsters would walk, skate and even DRIVE across the River Dee when it froze over during The Big Freeze.

At the time there had not been a colder winter sweeping the country since 1684 during a period known as The Little Ice Age and winter fairs were held on the River Thames.

River Dee frozen in January 1963
River Dee frozen in January 1963

The big freeze began in December 1962 and throughout the month, freezing cold easterly winds blew in from Scandinavia. On Boxing Day, the snow arrived - and the River Dee remained frozen for weeks from Shotton to Chester.

The baltic weather remains the coldest since at least 1895 in all meteorological districts of the United Kingdom except Scotland North, where the winters of 1978–79 and 2009–10 were only marginally colder.

Chester Photographic Survey - the Weir and River Dee in 1962
Chester Photographic Survey - the Weir and River Dee in 1962

One of the men you can see in the video 'doing the twist' is Peter Wolfendale, a friend and fellow student of Raymond Good's at Chester Grammar School.

"We went down to the river at lunch time from school," he told The Chronicle. "Raymond was the one with the camera and there was about five of us fooling around on the river - the ones doing the twist. Now I live in Canada where we see that cold every year."

Mr E H Roberts of Hoole took this photograph of his wife Flo and two nuns walking the frozen River Dee in the 1960s
Mr E H Roberts of Hoole took this photograph of his wife Flo and two nuns walking the frozen River Dee in the 1960s

The weather caused disruption to the national sporting calendar, and for many weeks, football matches in both the English and Scottish leagues suffered because of the effects of the weather.

Chester FC played away at Brentford on Boxing Day of 1962 and could not play after that until February 23, 1963.
Larking about on the frozen River Dee in 1963
Larking about on the frozen River Dee in 1963