Forget the weather !

The police advice is ... don't travel unless absolutely necessary.

The schools across Norfolk are shutting by the dozen.

Norwich Airport is closed.

I am supposed to be on a literacy course at a training centre in Norwich and ... Norfolk County Council have insisted the course is going ahead and when I phoned asking do they really expect me to attend given the weather, they just made plain that the course was still running and that would be my decision.

Impressed ??? No !!!

Update : Having now returned I can confirm (despite comments from one idiot) that the ring road is now deteriorating badly and a number of less well gritted outer roads are now becoming very difficult too.

The problem was never going to be getting in to Norwich, but as anyone with access to a weather forecast knew, the weather would turn bad. Schools across Norfolk were well aware that staff were going to have to get home again and that is why many decided to close early. At least my course did finish earlier than planned.


Dan said...

I've just been in a meeting in Norwich city centre, attended by people from all over Norfolk. They all arrived on time, no accidents or snow drifts to contend with.

I can't believe that there are 120 schools shut when there's barely any snow on the ground and the traffic's running freely.

Impressed??? No!

jailhouselawyer said...

"I am supposed to be on a literacy course...when I phones asking".

I can see why!

"Carol Vorderman left university with a third class degree".

Tut! Tut!

Seriously, I would have liked to have had a piece of paper to frame on the wall stating John Hirst, LLB. However, the Prison Service in its wisdom decided to withdraw its funding.

I battled on and met all those lawyers with their first class degrees, and the judges who dismissed my claims at first instance, and the truth is a proven track record of success is better than possessing a first class piece of paper and losing cases.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I passed 3 crashed cars on my way and as for there being hardly any snow on the ground, you are a clown. how about travelling outside of Norwich City centre and seeing how much there is in the countryside.

Batteredstrat said...

Tried to take my wife to work, (have to stay home as schools shut so kids at home).

We made it to the end of the street and then couldn't climb the hill. Nearly swiped by a 4x4, who seemed to be able to find even less grip than my old Mondeo. Turned around and went home. Total journey 1/4 mile: Time 10 mins!

Fortunately I often work from home, and we have broadband so the Missus could connect to the office. Tomorrow set for more of the same I hear. Kids not pleased as they find their parents less interesting than their school friends!

the "clown" said...

I came in from Guist to the city. God to see you appreciate the feedback.

sally in norfolk said...

not much snow here in Kings lynn

Norfolk Blogger said...

Guist, a main "A" road with at least two gritting stations nearby.

Lucky you. Some people do not live on "A" roads.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Batteredstrat - Don't say it too loud as some people think we've made up all these stories about snow falls.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Dan may not be impressed; but those of us who have been there might be.

Hey, Dan! Fancy being cooped up overnight with several hundred kids? It has happened. Many schools across the region have students (and teachers) coming in over a ten-fifteen mile radius.

When the world was young, a DMU carrying the grammar school students back from Fakenham was trapped in Barsham cutting. Was that the year (1961?) snow started falling on Boxing Day, and was still lying a week or so before Easter?

Not just snow: rain, too. Before the A14 "improvements", I have stood one side of the River Lark in Bury St Edmunds, with half the KEGS boys. The other half were still the town side. Each group watched the other, and, with even greater interest, the bridge at Eastgate Street, the only route available, holding up against the flood. Eventually a tractor and dung-cart (how appropriate, I hear you say) was deployed to repatriate us, Alas: the real disaster was that the bridge successfully withstood the spate, so causing the flooding of The Fox, then my favourite hostelry.

ivan said...

What is the problem with everyone nowadays? A few centimetres of snow and everything crashes to a stop? When I was a boy in the 50s, the fact the snow was up to hedge top level didn't stop me walking 2 miles to school, and it didn't close.

Where I now live, the Pyrenees, we get snow every year and no one has problems driving round on roads that haven't been gritted, maybe the fact that snow chains are obligatory might be the answer.

What is happening at the moment is symptomatic of the general outlook of most people today, they want everything given to them without any effort. The younger generation need to be taught that they need to work to get ahead in life, at least that was what we taught before I retired.

Norfolk Blogger said...


The problem is that we do not have sub zero temperatures for even a week, so the current weather conditions are the exception, not the rule. Snow chains would be an absolute joke, damaging the roads and causing more harm in the long term.

The problem is with the UK that we have occasional extremes. in June we will get 35 degree heat, then in January -7 degrees, but likewise in June we will generally get 12-15 degrees and for much of Jaunary it will be 3 - 7 degrees.

Countries who can guarantee that the temperatures will be low can prepare for it knowing it will happen, but as it is, and remember from your home abroad that this is the worst snow in 19 years here and many years we see no snow at all, so why should snow chains be a requirement ?

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Ivan may have been a boy in the 1950s. Well, so was I.

I think my first memory is my father holding me up to the window to watch the conductors using lanterns to lead the trams through the streets of London, through the freezing smog. That was the winter of 1946-7, when we were still on rationing, and the economic crisis caused by the cold was the main factor behind devaluation against the dollar.

Then there was 1963: the coldest winter on record since 1740. Possibly only the outflows from Battersea and Bankside power stations stopped the Upper Pool of the Thames freezing over (as it did in 1684, when John Evelyn rode along the frozen river in a coach).

Both of those are well attested and documented. But, can anyone tell me what the excess death-count was in those severe winters? Curiously, apart from the propaganda point that 150 West Berliners died in the cold, I cannot seem to find statistics. The Great Smog of 1952 did for 4,000 in London alone ('s all right: that was under a Tory Government!), so I cannot believe that the figures for 1947 or 1963, nationally, were any less.

Of course, as a controlled experiment, we could hope for continuing cold and attempt Ivan's approach. I think a number of parents (which is what this thread is about) might have objections.

And, no, snow-chains and studded tyres are not an answer. If nothing else, they quickly become lethal where roads are not snow-bound.

ivan said...

Maybe I as being a little hard on you but I've been taking quite a ribbing from my French friends in the village.

I have also spoken to friends back in Martham that were down here a couple of years ago for the skiing. They are now using the snow chains they bought here, and now keep in their car.

About 3 years ago we had a freak snow storm that blocked the motorway just on the Spanish side of the border. Since the most snow they normally get there is less than a centimetre you could say a metre plus was rather unexpected. Despite this the motorway was cleared and running as normal within 2 hours, most of that time was taken getting the snow blowers out of storage and up the motorway.

In some ways I am rather cynical about what I see happening in Norfolk now, floods in Gt. Yarmouth, trains not running on time, sea defences being allowed to crumble and so on. In my youth there we never seemed to have those problems. My sister, who is still living there says a lot of the problems are caused by those from the cities that move there and have no appreciation of how the countryside works (my grandfather, a farm hand all his life, used to say that if you didn't manage the countryside it would manage you and he appears to have been right). I saw some of this, before I moved because of work, with incomers insisting that the ditches at the sides of the road be filled in and then complaining when their gardens flooded in the first heavy rain.

Sorry for getting a bit off topic but we can't always blame the weather when it's most probably the fault of the people.


Less schools closed today - when it is admittedly quite bad up here on the Norfolk Coast - than earlier in the week.