LAST week, we not only identified the location of the snowplough which appeared on the front of Memories 504 – it was at Langton Bottom near Langton Beck in upper Teesdale – but John Lambard identified the plough as a “short wheelbase Bedford”.

Graham Redfearn takes the identification further. “It would appear to be a Bedford O type which were built up to 1953,” he says. “It probably belonged to Teesdale Transport.

“I remember one of their O types, with its plough broken down, at Woodland in the early 1960s. Their lorries were painted dark grey.

“This plough was probably a bit out of its area for snowploughing but had probably come over the fell from Eggleston and needed to turn around.”

Continuing to plough the Teesdale snowplough furrow, we have this splendid picture taken 89 years ago this week by an Echo photographer on the Middleton-in-Teesdale to Brough road (now the B6276). In the hotseat, as it were, is Elijah Foster, of Low Side Farm, Bowbank, who was clearing the Lunedale section of the road with his brother, Arthur, of Gates Side Farm, Newbiggin, and an assistant, J White.

The Echo’s photographer toured the district in his motor car and found them hard at work on December 30, 1931, where “on the moors above Teesdale, the snow lies several inches deep”.

“During the whole of the afternoon, The Northern Echo man saw only a single car on the roads above Teesdale,” said the report the following day. “The only travellers appeared to be shepherds and their dogs, an occasional farm hand driving home a cow or bullock, the road-men employed in keeping the roads clear, and the rural postman on his rounds.

“It was a picturesque sight as two draught horses came into view against the sunset, dragging the Teesdale snow plough along the deserted highway.

“The wind came piercingly cold across the frozen hills, yet these Dalesmen hardly seemed to notice it. The three talked cheerily together as they tramped the seven or eight miles back to their homes in the gathering dusk.”

The Echo also interviewed postman William Walton whom it also found out in the snowy wastes, on his 22 mile round, delivering and collecting letters.

“Part of his equipment is a whistle,” said the Echo. “As he approaches one of the scattered homesteads on the moors he blows a shrill blast, and the people come down to the road to collect their mail. If they have a letter to post, they usually display it in their windows so that Mr Walton can see it as he passes.

“Ordinarily, the postman uses a pony and trap. Because of the weather, he did his round yesterday in the saddle, his faithful steed being a grey pony named Nellie. When the roads are really bad he uses a sleigh, piling the letters and parcels upon it.

“Then, indeed, he is a Father Christmas to the people of the moors.”