DESPITE a forecast of heavy snow and warnings of school closures, it looked like business as usual in Somerset early in the morning of March 1, 2018.

Days earlier, the Met Office had issued a weather warning for wind and snow as the Beast from the East threatened to strike the UK mainland.

But the County Gazette's live blog had an underwhelming start.

"My car wasn't even frosty this morning - yet to be convinced the snow will hit," wrote one of our reporters, incredulous after days of anticipation.

But throughout the morning, more and more precautions were being made ahead of the flurries of snow that were forecast to fall.

Somerset County Gazette: School was out at North Town.School was out at North Town.

And then, at 7.20am – as schools closed, buses were cancelled and a red warning was issued – the snow started to fall. And it fell, and fell, and fell.

By 10am, vast swathes of the county were covered. Libraries had closed and even the courts in Taunton had shut as a precaution.

After a brief respite at lunchtime – which many used to travel home – the snow started falling again.

Most bus services called it a day by 2pm, with some companies sending staff home. 

Still, the white stuff kept coming down, and it kept falling well into the night. 

Somerset County Gazette: Traffic on the Toneway as the snow kept falling.Traffic on the Toneway as the snow kept falling.

On Friday, March 2, the county awoke to a winter wonderland.

Major roads were closed, including the A303 and the A358 at various points, while pupils across Somerset were allowed to stay away from their schools.

But there were stories of people who managed to carry on with their work.

4x4 owners rallied round to help staff members at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton get to work, while others united to help out at care homes.

And in Somerset, one Reliant Robin owner was determined to get to the shops.

Somerset County Gazette: A white blanket covers Rockwell Green.A white blanket covers Rockwell Green.

The so-called beast was the result of Anticyclone Hartmut, which was centred on Scandinavia, and Storm Emma. 

The resulting cold snap caused flights and trains to be cancelled and thousands of properties to be left without power across the UK as up to 22 inches of snow was recorded.

Major incidents were declared in Wiltshire, Hampshire and our Avon and Somerset area as roads were brought to a standstill by the conditions.

As people across the country showed their kindness, Prime Minister Theresa May thanks members of the public for “going the extra mile”.

The Met Office also said the Beast officially set a new record for the lowest temperatures recorded in a 24-hour period in March.

Weeks later, the UK experienced a ‘Mini Beast from the East’, a less severe cold snap.