Weather: when the terrible winter 63 destroyed the crops around Paimpol

In the winter of 1963, market gardeners suffered very heavy losses (Archive February 2021) ©La Presse d’Armor

We saw the winter of 63 record temperature In Côtes-d’Armor as everywhere in France.

The mothers of Claire, who was born on January 17, 1963, and France, who was born on February 17 of the same year at Treméven Farm, still remember this.

“We almost couldn’t go to the clinic”remembers the first one.

The bedroom windows were frozen inside, adds the second. We had to sleep in one room with our two daughters (the eldest was not yet 2 years old) to keep warm.

All the radio, paper and television news are talking about this only.

The country is literally paralyzed exceptionally cold.

First of all, we are joking

But at Presse Paimpolaise, the ancestor of Presse d’Armor, you have to settle for a simple wink when it comes to cold.

As if at first the question was the source of a joke.

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Thus, the announcement of the ball in mid-January begins: “If everything has been frozen in recent days, there will be no atmosphere at the big travesty evening on February 23. »

Similarly, an article describing the Paimpol firemen’s Christmas tree mentions that “if it was very cold outside, the temperature and atmosphere in the room at Quai Loti was good. »

First signs of anxiety

The the first signs of concern a small addition stating that collapses are coming, due to extreme cold “the owner the card of the economically weaker After presenting a 50 kg coal voucher, they are invited to the town hall. »

In the same newspaper, artichoke and cauliflower growers around Pleubian are asked to “immediately go to the town hall to declare damaged surfaces”.

Because cultures have suffered a lot.

Farmers are sounding the alarm

And finally, it passes through the prism the agricultural world that seriousness and exceptional aspect weather conditions appear.

A very long article mentions a meeting that took place in Ploubazlanec town hall with the participation of union officials and local people.

About 800 farmers participatedas well as representatives of many merchants and cooperatives.

Organizers draw disturbing conclusions:

This time, you don’t have to wait for the thaw to conclude that cauliflower (90% in the first estimate) and common artichokes are almost completely destroyed.

In the winter of 1963, cauliflower production was destroyed by continuous frost around Paimpol.
In the winter of 1963, cauliflower production was destroyed by continuous frost around Paimpol. © stock.adobe

Glaze puffs

Mr. Berthou, head of the Foyer de Progrès Agricole, sent documents every day to Mr. Le Tellier, director of agricultural services, which allowed him to measure the effect of the cold weather on the crops.

Here are some excerpts: “On Monday, January 14, the temperature drops to -7 degrees. We might think that the artichokes and cauliflowers have suffered, but generally we are hopeful enough. »

Short-lived hope: “Tuesday, January 16: recorded minimums and maximums are -4 and +9 degrees. The first damage is obvious. »

And it doesn’t get any better: “Saturday, January 19: the temperature varies from -6 to -3 degreess and it is difficult to observe because it does not melt.

The high point of this week falls on Sunday, January 20 It was recorded -14.5 degrees below.

Cabbage is glazed to the core, and Jerusalem artichokes are arranged on the floor.

Not the relatively warm weather on January 21st (-1° anyway) the speaker declares “Potato plants begin to dehydrate.”

5°C on August 19

It is decided that a a delegation of vegetable growers will be received by the prefect to give him a motion for the minister to request The vegetable growing area of ​​the Côtes-du-Nord coast is classified as damaged and Caisse Nationale du Crédit Agricole comes to the aid of disaster victims by providing short- or medium-term loans at preferential rates.

They also ask an allowance of 0.20 francs per cauliflowerassistance to merchants and cooperatives and abolition of agricultural profits for the current campaign…

the The thaw won’t really come until mid-March damage from the cold will be considerable.

Winter will come again to make a small appearance August 19 In the Saint-Brieuc region, the thermometer will drop to around 5°…

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