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Punters at Britain's highest pub are trapped in overnight when blizzard dumps 5ft of snow

Punters at Britain's highest pub were trapped in overnight on Friday after an icy blizzard dumped 5ft of snow on their cars.

Storm Arwen cut power to more than 130,000 homes as Storm Arwen battered the UK causing road closures, train delays and power cuts and killed three people by falling trees.   

Around 50 customers at Tan Hill Inn - which is 1,732ft above sea level - woke this morning surrounded by 5ft of snow that had buried their vehicles after the storm brought icy blizzards to the Yorkshire Dales.  

Many became trapped in the remote boozer in Richmond after travelled there to watch an Oasis tribute band called 'Noasis' perform on Friday night. 

By 9pm it became clear that nobody would be able to make the journey home and many had to sleep in makeshift beds on the floor of the bar. The 17th Century Tan Hill Inn is around 10 miles from the nearest main roads, but the lanes leading to it had been blocked by snow or fallen power lines. 

Pub owner Mike Kenny said: 'We recommended anyone in the pub to stay out rather than endanger life on the snow covered moors. No one is going anywhere yet. The police advised we all stay out for now. Our snowplough is snowed in!'

At least one couple were rescued after they tried to camp outside the pub and the Inn's BnB guests have been advised to keep their bags packed in case a plough makes a path so they can try to escape. 

The Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, but the forecaster said that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place, with the expectation of gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline. 

Police said one storm victim, from Lancaster, was killed at around 11pm on Friday night on Vicarage Road in Ambleside, Cumbria. In Northern Ireland, a man was killed when his car was hit by a falling tree in County Antrim on Friday. And a third was killed when a tree fell on his car on the B977 in Aberdeenshire around 5pm on Friday.  

Around 50 customers (pictured) at Tan Hill Inn, Britain's highest pub, in the Yorkshire Dales were trapped in overnight on Friday after a Storm Arwen dumped 5ft of snow on their cars

Around 50 customers at Tan Hill Inn (pictured)  - which is 1,732ft above sea level - woke this morning surrounded by 5ft of snow that had buried their vehicles after the storm brought icy blizzards to the Yorkshire Dales

The 17th Century Tan Hill Inn is around 10 miles from the nearest main roads, but the lanes leading to it had been blocked by snow or fallen power lines. Punters became trapped in the remote boozer in Richmond after travelled there to watch an Oasis tribute band called 'Noasis' perform on Friday night

Storm Arwen hits Scotland causing severe damagePic near Hatton of Fintray Aberdeenshire of a police van crushed by a large tree

Police urged people to travel only if absolutely necessary today after roads were closed by fallen debris in White City, London

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday

Police urged people to travel only if absolutely necessary today after roads were closed by fallen debris in the worst-hit parts of Scotland. 

Coastguards even begged Storm Arwen sightseers this morning to stay away from the sea today and tomorrow, warning: 'No selfie is worth killing yourself for'.

On Friday night part of a ceiling at a Wetherspoons' in Wales collapsed above some of the customers during the storm and the premises had to be evacuated, reports say.  

Punters were removed from the premises of the North and South Bank pub in Wrexham shortly after 10.20pm after plaster chunks fell, but fortunately no staff or customers were injured, North Wales Live reports. 

LNER train services north of Newcastle were ground to a halt by high winds, heavy rain and snowfall, while ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown onto the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk. 

All Avanti West Coast services North of Carlisle were cancelled on Saturday, with customers 'strongly advised' not to attempt to travel on the route. Other services are running but may be subject to delays of 120 minutes. TransPennine Express customers were urged not to travel, with services between Newcastle and Edinburgh cancelled.

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday. Amber weather warnings remain in place until around 9am on Saturday for the north-east coasts of England and Scotland, and the south-west coasts of England and Wales, while the yellow warning covers most of the UK until 6pm. 

And in North Wales, ITV was forced to pre-record Friday night's live episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! amid concerns that poor weather would interfere with the broadcast around Gwrych Castle. 

On Friday night part of a ceiling at a Wetherspoons' in Wales collapsed above some of the customers during the storm and the premises had to be evacuated, reports said

Punters were removed from the premises of the North and South Bank pub in Wrexham shortly after 10.20pm after plaster chunks fell, but fortunately no staff or customers were injured, North Wales Live reports

Huge waves crash against the seawall in Hartlepool as Storm Arwen sweeps across the country following a Met Office severe weather warning for Saturday 

Huge waves crash against the sea wall and Roker Lighthouse in Sunderland in the tail end of Storm Arwen which saw gusts of almost 100 miles per hour

A truck is stranded on the A635 near Greenfield in Saddleworth, Oldham, after Storm Arwen brought snow to the UK on Saturday 

A car was crushed under a tree in Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol, after Storm Arwen battered Britain winds up to 100mph

A council contractor in Northumberland was forced to clear over 100 fallen trees in the last 24 hours in scenes 'like a horror film' after Storm Arwen battered the region

Handout photo issued by Les Cooper of a fallen tree on car in Wallasey Village, Wirrall, in the aftermath of Storm Arwen

People help to push an Asda delivery van stuck on the A515 in the Derbyshire Peak District near Biggin

The side and roof of a building on Deep Pit Road in Bristol have come crashing down

A VW camper is pictured destroyed after strong winds caused damage to a neighbouring building in Earl Street, Seaham

A road out of Seaham is flooded and causing chaos this morning for motorists as Storm Arwen lashes the country

Two men in hi-vis jackets walking through the snow in Birmingham this morning as Storm Arwen batters Britain

Huge waves crash against the seawall in Hartlepool as Storm Arwen sweeps across the country following a Met Office severe weather warning for Saturday

A lorry blown over in high winds blocks the A179 near Hartlepool, County Durham

A cyclist braves the snow in Sheffield this morning as Storm Arwen batters the north of England

Fallen masonry from a property, which has damaged a nearby car, on Gloucester Avenue in Roker, Sunderland

While the Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, the forecaster warned that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place

The Met Office is expecting gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline

How rare is a Met Office red weather warning - and what does it mean? 

The Met Office today issued a red weather warning for wind in Scotland. 

The last time a red wind warning was activated in the UK was for South West England in March 2018.

Today's alert is the 11th red warning issued by the Met Office since its three-tier system came into use in 2011. 

It also includes yellow warnings for 'be aware' and amber for 'be prepared'. 

The Met Office definition of a red alert is to 'take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather. Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely'. 

The 11 red warnings issued by the Met Office since the system began seven years ago are as follows:

  • December 8, 2011: Wind in central and southern Scotland
  • January 3, 2012: Wind in central Scotland
  • July 7, 2012: Rain in Devon and Cornwall
  • January 18, 2013: Snow in South Wales
  • February 12, 2014: Wind in Wales and northern England
  • December 5, 2015: Rain in Cumbria and the Borders (Storm Desmond)
  • December 26, 2016: Rain in Lancashire and Yorkshire
  • January 29, 2016: Wind in Orkney and Shetland
  • February 28, 2018: Snow in central Scotland
  • March 1, 2018: Wind and snow in South West England
  • November 26, 2021: Wind in Northeast England and Scotland (Storm Arwen) 

Tom Rigby, 32, a freight train driver from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, visited the Tan Hill Inn with his girlfriend and was booked into a B&B room for the night.

He said: 'We set off around 6pm and the roads were OK but I knew the forecast. Every time we looked outside the snow got deeper and deeper. Before we knew it around midnight it was a couple of feet deep in the doorway!

'The staff are all working together and making sure everyone is kept informed and happy, fed and watered. To be honest, they've been a credit to the pub. The road from Reeth is blocked with snow, but also has a powerline down over the road. The road from Kirby isn't gritted either.

'Staff have advised people to definitely not travel that direction, and those that have tried have got stuck. I have heard that mountain rescue are aware of them. The road isn't a priority I suppose although the council have been told people are stranded.'

Tom told how one couple had to be rescued after attempting to camp outside in a tent. 'I went out with them around midnight, pulled out all his sleeping bags and mattress,' he explained. 

'The poles of the tent were all snapped - there wasn't much tent left. There was snow inside it also. We brought it straight in by the fire to dry.' 

Meanwhile tributes have been paid to a 'renowned educationalist' who died after his car was struck by a falling tree.

Francis Lagan, principal of St Mary's Primary School in Maghera, died after the incident on the Dublin Road in Antrim on Friday as high winds hit the area during Storm Arwen. Sadness at his death was expressed by his school on Twitter.

Sinn Fein MLA Declan Kearney said Mr Lagan was a 'highly respected principal'.

'I was shocked and very saddened to learn about the death of a motorist after a tree fell on his car while travelling along the Dublin Road in Antrim town on Friday evening,' he said.

'The victim of this tragedy, Francis Lagan, was a highly respected South Derry school principal, who made an immense contribution to the community which he served. Francis was a renowned Maghera educationalist and civic leader.

'My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, school colleagues and students, and the wider community of Maghera, where he was held in very great regard.'

Wind speeds reached 87mph in Orlock Head, County Down. Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland saw gusts of 78mph, while Aberporth in Wales saw speeds of 77mph.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it had been dealing with a 'large' number of incidents late on Friday 'caused by the current weather conditions including many fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures'.  

The Met Office described the conditions as 'horrendous' and people also reported power cuts. Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.  

A number of councils in Scotland also reported power cuts, and Electricity North West responded to a high number of cuts affecting thousands of properties in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Footage showed howling winds whipping up the North Sea in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, and snowfall elsewhere, including in Redcar, Yorkshire, and Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

North West Motorway Police said around 120 lorries were 'stuck in the snow' on the M62 at junctions 21 and 22 and urged motorists to avoid the area. Tweeting pictures of the motorway blanketed in white, they said snow ploughs had been deployed.

A Met Office statement said: 'People should stay away from the coast as waves and debris are a danger to life.'

They are warning people not to get too close to cliffs and harbour walls - even piers - as the howling 70mph gales whip up huge waves.

HM Coastguard Cornwall & Isles of Scilly warned that just 15cm of water is enough to knock you off your feet and sweep you into the boiling cauldron - with little chance of being rescued. 

'There are lots of warnings around our coast from the Met office for the next couple of days,' they said.

'Please take great care if you are going to look at the waves. No photo is worth your life, it only takes 15cm of water to sweep you off your feet. Keep back from cliff edges, piers, harbour walls and other exposed areas if it's choppy.' 

The Met Office has issued a rare highest 'danger to life' warning for wind from 3pm yesterday to 2am today, with gales forecast to be as high as 90mph and waves as high as 32ft.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, from Police Scotland's Road Policing Unit, said motorists in the area 'should not travel under any circumstances' and added those in amber and yellow warning zones should 'not journey out unless for essential purposes and if you are doing so, to be mindful of the challenging conditions you will face'. 

A fallen tree on cars in Seaham, County Durham after the Met Office issued a rare red warning for wind from 3pm on Friday to 2am on Saturday over Storm Arwen

Residents clear branches from a fallen tree in Birkenhead, north west England, after the country was battered by Storm Arwen

Storm Arwen has claimed her first victim after a driver died when a falling tree landed on his car while he was driving with his wife and two children in Antrim, Northern Ireland, on Friday evening

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

heavy snow shower passes over Saltburn By The Sea as Storm Arwen sweeps across the country

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

Despite the bitter weather, revellers were seen heading into Leeds city centre for a night of partying

A car is left crushed under a tree in Hanbury Road in Clifton, Bristol today

A caravan in Hartlepool is torn apart by Storm Arwen as the country is battered by ferocious gales

An overblown tree blocks a road near Consett, in County Durham this morning

Residents have a lucky escape as a giant tree topples just inches from their homes in Howdon, North Tyneside

Tree surgeons remove a tree from the tracks near Pokesdown station in Bournemouth, Dorset

An overblown tree lands on a property in North Shields, North Tyneside, this morning

Heavy snow and high winds affecting parts of Scotland yesterday as the Met Office issues a rare red weather warning

A heavy snow shower passes over Saltburn-By-The-Sea as Storm Arwen sweeps across parts of the country on Friday evening

The first snowfall of winter 2021 this Northumberland yesterday as Storm Arwen hits the UK

The red warning covered areas including Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Edinburgh and Aberdeen

The red warning stretched along the east coast from Middlesbrough to beyond Aberdeen and was the first maximum alert to be issued since Storm Dennis in February 2020.

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said the forecaster didn't 'issue red warnings lightly' and warned people to stay away from the affected area.

'People need to recognise, really, that we don't issue red warnings lightly so, therefore, when we do, we feel that there is a much higher threat of risk,' he said.

'We urge people, obviously, to take action as a result of that and that action in this case is probably don't go to the coast. 

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold weather alert and urged people to check on elderly relatives or neighbours. 

Will Land, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, said: 'The UK will see temperatures drop to below average in the coming days, as cold air is drawn in from the north.

'This is coupled with the strong winds associated with Storm Arwen, which means it will feel especially cold in the wind. Areas in the north will see temperatures below freezing overnight, with daytime maximum temperatures only getting into the low single figures. It's important to note that strong wind speeds, in excess of 65mph in exposed locations, will exacerbate the cold temperatures we'll be seeing over the weekend.' 

Ben Sheridan, AA patrol of the year, says: 'Storm Arwen will bring a nasty mix of snow, particularly in the North East and Scotland, and wind which will make visibility poor, especially at night.

Pictured: Motorists driver through a heavy snow shower in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Pictured: Waves crash against the pier wall in Tynemouth, North Tyneside, on Friday

'If you must travel in the worst affected areas, adjust your driving to account for the conditions and leave plenty of space behind other vehicles.

'Allow extra time, as there may be delays and make sure you pack winter essentials in the car such as warm, waterproof layers, a shovel, a torch, fully charged mobile phone and a flask of hot drink.

'Watch out for debris on the road and pay attention when passing high-sided vehicles when you encounter strong winds.'

The RNLI tweeted: 'With #StormArwen named as our first winter storm, we can expect some strong winds and rough weather overnight and into the weekend. We urge people to stay safe near the coast as the severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.'

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning - meaning lives are in danger - for northeast Scotland and England as well as yellow weather warnings for Friday and Saturday. Forecasters warn snow is possible, 'almost anywhere away from the far-south'. Pictured, waves at Roker Lighthouse in Sunderland today

Temperatures could plummet to as low as -4C in the Scottish Highlands overnight on Saturday into Sunday

The Met Office has warned the extreme wind could close bridges and roads as well as see tiles blown off buildings over the weekend. Pictured, a map of the wind direction

A man clears snow from a drive in West Yorkshire as Storm Arwen brings snow, rain and strong winds to the UK

The charity said 150 people 'accidentally lose their lives around UK and Irish waters each year, and over half of these people didn't plan on ever entering the water'. 

'If you see someone in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'  

The RAC has advised drivers to prepare for strong gusts by slowing down and being 'very careful' when passing high-sided vehicles or cyclists. 

Spokesman Simon Williams said: 'In extreme windy conditions, bridges may also be closed and trees may fall so it's important to allow extra time for journeys.

'With forecasters predicting strong winds together with colder conditions, drivers should take this opportunity to prepare their vehicles for winter by checking oil and coolant levels, ensuring they have enough good quality screen wash that protects down to well below minus 10C, as well as having properly inflated tyres with good tread.'   

Experts have expressed fears that migrants attempting to cross the Channel face 'terrifying' conditions that no commercial fishermen would risk. 

Meanwhile, Labrokes is predicting next month will be the coldest December on record with 2/1 bets. 

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: 'A White Christmas will come at a freezing cold cost if the latest odds are anything to go by, with next month looking increasingly likely to break records on the weather front for all the wrong reasons.'