THE fountain at the front of the Radcliffe Infirmary shimmered with icicles in January 1976.

Parts of the River Cherwell were also completely frozen over around the end of the month, according to the Oxford Mail.

The paper also reported that ice was coating sections of the River Thames.

Weathermen at the time said the conditions producing the sub-zero temperatures were the same as those that provided the previous summer's 'scorching heatwave'.

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The coldest place in the country at the time was the West Midlands, where temperatures dropped to a chilly -5C.

London saw slightly warmer temperatures of -1C, but temperatures were only due to rise to about 1C or 2C the following day - meaning the statue likely remained partially frozen for some time.

Huge icicles had formed around the arms, legs and main bowl, though it appeared that the fountain on top was still sprinkling out some liquid.

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The Mail reported that the statue looked as if was feeling the cold, remarking 'Now that's what I call a cold shower'.

Our reporter added that local ducks were 'just as unhappy'.