The recent snowy weather ground good old England to a halt, despite it being nowhere near as severe as winters in days gone by. In the winter of 62/63 the snows, frost and severe cold started at the end of December and continued until the beginning of March.
I was just a teeny tot when that winter occurred so I don’t remember it but I do recall a particular bad winter in the early 80s. There was deep snow making it genuinely not possible to travel far and I couldn’t get to work; it was so cold the buses had seized up… But despite that, the country did not ground to a halt! For some reason this country has forgotten how to cope with even a slight downfall of snow…
I fondly remember the time I first drove in atrocious snowy conditions. The adverse weather caused a power cut which meant my alarm didn’t go off and I was late for setting off to a choir reunion; I leapt into my car without thinking!
I was half way through my journey to the choir reunion which involved a practice in the morning and a concert in the evening when I realised that the snow drifts at the side of the road were at least 4 times the height of my car!!! I wondered at my stupidity, but thought that since I was half way there now I might as well continue on my journey.
We had the morning practice and the weather had got even worse. After the practice I dropped one of the choir ladies off near to her house which was not far from the practice venue. When I dropped her off she gave me detailed instructions on how to drive in the snow. Every time I drive in the snow I think of her.
It was a complete white out on my journey home; I missed my turning on one occasion and had to retrace my steps. I also experienced my first slide in the snow and the best response to recover from that!
Eventually I got home safe and sound and found that in addition to the power cut there was no water supply. The M6 motorway had also ground to a halt and become impassable due to the adverse weather and people were stuck in their cars for many hours. But still the country did not shut down.
It makes me smile and despair in equal measures that the snow used to be far worse over here and the country never ground to a halt. I think that modern vehicle technology has a part to play in this but there is more to it than that, we have lost the skills and ability to cope with cold and snowy conditions, because they have become less frequent over the years. It is sad to see that this country has lost the skills to be able to cope especially when it lasts for only one day.