Ten years ago, Kent was hit by some of its heaviest snowfalls in recent memory, as the county faced a prolonged spell of severe weather.
As temperatures fell below zero, snow and ice brought travel chaos for several days in late November and early December.
Rail services were delayed or cancelled and a number of accidents were reported on the roads, with gritters out in force trying to make major routes safer.
The weather also caused dozens of schools across the county to be closed, with many children making the most of the conditions to build snowmen or go sledging as several inches of snow fell.
The poor conditions, which began on Thursday, November 25, were said to have been caused by icy winds blowing in from Siberia in northern Asia.
In one incident, a woman who was nine months pregnant had to be rescued from her car when it hit an electricity pylon on the road between Wye and Hinxhill, near Ashford.
She was taken to the William Harvey Hospital, where she was treated for back and neck pain but didn’t go into labour.
Matthew Smith took a picture of a bus getting stuck on Derringstone Hill in Barham, saying residents had helped the driver dig his way out.
He said: “Eventually with a bit of community spirit and the assistance of a local farmer with his snow plough, the bus managed to get off of the pavement.”
With motorists warned to travel only if absolutely essential, Kent Police said any abandoned vehicles on roads would be towed.
Train operator Southeastern apologised to passengers after a train became trapped on ice – and replacement buses on the way to meet them then got stuck on the roads.
A Southeastern spokesman said: “One of our trains became trapped as a result of ice on the conductor rail in the Borough Green area.
“Buses were ordered to meet the passengers but due to the problematic weather conditions on the roads, these were delayed in arriving.”
Some cases at Maidstone Crown Court – including a murder trial – were disrupted because jurors couldn’t get in.
KentOnline court reporter Keith Hunt said at the time: “Police are trying to collect a missing juror, who apparently can’t get off the drive.”
“By all means have fun with snowballs but not if it means you hurt or frighten people or damage their property.”
A number of incidents prompted police to alert people to the dangers of throwing snowballs.
One officer warned: “By all means have fun with snowballs but not if it means you hurt or frighten people or damage their property.
“Do not throw snowballs at people, vehicles, or people’s homes.”
Kent Police control centre experienced a high number of calls from people with snow-related emergencies.
The switchboard at its headquarters in Maidstone answered 3,419 calls in one 24-hour period.
Kent was not alone as many other parts of the country battled deep snow and bitter cold.
The Met Office said temperatures struggled to rise above freezing during the day and widely fell below -10°C on several nights. On one occasion it fell below -20°C in northern Scotland.
A statement from the UK’s national weather service said: “From Thursday, November 25, the UK came under the influence of a prolonged north-easterly airstream drawing bitterly cold air from northern Europe and Siberia.
“Eastern Scotland and north-east England were most exposed and saw persistent and at times heavy snowfalls – the snow resulting from moisture picked up as this airstream passed over the North Sea.
“With the persistent north-easterly winds and freezing conditions, very significant accumulations developed, particularly across the high ground with level depths of 50cm or more.
“This spell of snow and freezing temperatures occurred unusually early in the winter, with the snowfalls judged as the most significant and widespread in late November and early December since late November 1965”.
What else was happening in the world?
Days before the country was hit by snow, the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton had been announced by Clarence House.
The couple would marry the following year, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The country’s Prime Minister at the time was Conservative leader David Cameron, whose party had come to power in coalition with the Liberal Democrats earlier that year, following the defeat of the Labour government led by Gordon Brown. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg took the role of Deputy Prime Minister. The US President was Barack Obama, who had been elected two years earlier.
In the week of the snowfall, thousands of students had protested in London in the latest demonstration against funding cuts and proposals to increase university tuition fees.
There was also trouble in other cities including Manchester, Oxford, Brighton, Cambridge and Sheffield.
The film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh in the series based on JK Rowling’s bestselling books, had been released in cinemas the week before the bad weather hit.
On December 2, England lost their bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with the tournament being controversially awarded to Russia.
Singer Matt Cardle won the latest series of TV’s X Factor in early December – with boy band One Direction placed third – while I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! was won by Stacey Solomon, a former contestant on the talent show.
— to www.kentonline.co.uk