That time a 'wonderwall' of snow trapped 61 concertgoers at a pub
A cover band drew dozens of music-lovers to a popular pub one winter night, but after the crowd was snowed in for several days, the visitors left with more than a performance -- and the band left with a whole-new name.
Over 60 pub-goers, along with staff and a band, were trapped at the Tan Hill Inn in northern Yorkshire, England, for three days as Storm Arwen pounded the country with snow.
Dozens of people got more than they bargained for when a trip to the highest pub in England last winter turned into a multiday event they may never forget. More than 60 people found themselves stranded at the Tan Hill Inn, a pub and inn located in a remote portion of Northern England, after Storm Arwen unleashed brutal blizzard conditions across the region.
The powerful Storm Arwen unleashed destructive winds, dumped heavy snowfall and even turned deadly across portions of the United Kingdom the weekend of Nov. 26-27, 2021. In the U.K., the heaviest snow and some of the strongest winds from Storm Arwen targeted the mountainous regions of Northern England, including Yorkshire Dales National Park, in which the Tan Hill Inn is located.
Famous for its distinction as England's highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn sits at an elevation of 1,732 feet (528 meters) above sea level. In contrast, London sits at just 36 feet (11 meters) above sea level.
A popular destination for travelers, the inn also attracted music lovers on that Friday night as an Oasis tribute band, called Noasis, was set to perform. While many guests arrived for the performance, none were able to leave Friday night as Storm Arwen pounded the region, ITV News reported.
By the time the dozens of customers left the inn on Monday, Nov. 29, after spending three nights trapped there, they had jokingly renamed the band “Snowasis.”
Blanketing snow left the famous inn inaccessible, and inescapable, as over 60 visitors were trapped for multiple days in late November 2021. (Facebook/The Tan Hill Inn)
Snow from the storm made travel treacherous. In addition, high winds brought down power lines onto surrounding roads, making any exit routes impassible.
"Blizzard conditions developed late Friday as Storm Arwen brought damaging winds and very heavy snow to parts of Northern England and Scotland," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.
While official weather observing stations are sparse in the Yorkshire Dales area, Roys estimates that peak wind gusts on the order of 80-90 mph (130-145 km/h) likely occurred at times across the surrounding area that Friday night.
Inn guests, and those stranded at the inn, woke up the next morning to nearly 3 feet (about 1 meter) of fresh snow, with snow nearing the base of first-floor windows, according to the BBC.
Despite being stranded, Tan Hill Inn Manager Nicola Townsend told the BBC that everyone was in good spirits. Sixty-one people spent at least two nights at the inn, with many forced to stay put for at least three.
Strong winds from Storm Arwen caused extensive damage to the Lanark United Football Club, a Scottish team from South Lanarkshire. (Lanark United FC via Storyful)
"People have been willing to share rooms," Townsend said at the time, according to the BBC. "We've got people on sofas and on the floor."
The inn kept those who were stranded warm, fed and entertained for the duration of the event. Videos posted on the inn's social media showed people setting up trivia, karaoke and movies to keep themselves entertained. In addition, the tribute band Noasis didn't let the "Wonderwall" of snow that built up outside stop them from getting out their guitars.
"All of our guests have just been wonderful, so we've been incredibly lucky. They've been very supportive, understanding and patient," Townsend remarked.
The ordeal ended for many on Monday morning, after a snowplow was able to clear an exit route, according to the BBC.
For the Tan Hill Inn, being cut off by the weather is nothing new. Due to its high elevation and remote location, it is in the prime placement to receive the worst of Mother Nature's wrath.
Despite being stranded in a remote portion of England for several days, these pubgoers and travelers faired quite well in comparison to other portions of the region.
At its peak, Storm Arwen cut off power to more than 430,000 customers across the U.K., according to Roys. Tens of thousands across portions of Scotland and northern England still remained without power on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, ITV News reported.
Those at the Tan Hill Inn weren't the only people to take refuge in a spot other than their home from a major snowstorm this week in Europe. The following week, more than 30 people in Aalborg, Denmark, had to spend a night at an IKEA due to an intense winter storm that dropped more than a foot of snow in the area.
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