Looking back... Big freeze forces bookmaker to shut shops

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An East Antrim bookmaker had to shut his 10 shops in January 1963 due to freezing weather conditions.

The “big freeze” meant that 54 members of staff had to be laid off.

Mr McMahon told the Larne Times that it had cost him £150 daily to keep the outlets open.

He explained that there had been “no racing since Boxing Day due to the wintry weather.”

“We have missed all the meetings and the way we are going, we will be lucky if there is any before the end of the month,” he said.

“I have tried running a book on race meetings in France but racing is controlled by government there and I am finding it impossible.”

Mr McMahon told staff that they would get their jobs back when racing recommenced.