Friday, February 6, 2009

RUBBING SALT IN TO BRITAIN’S WOUND

The freeze continues in Britain and again the country has ground to a standstill.

When the snow first hit London it became a news item on Fox News in the USA. Bemused presenters scratched their heads in wonder as four inches fell in the British capital bringing it to a standstill. “They obviously aren’t used to snow,” was one comment.

Now predictably as the snow and ice continues for more that a day or so the authorities have run out of salt and grit for the roads. No problem Spain, which sees more of the white stuff in a year than Britain does in two decades, was on hand to send some supplies.

Cleveland Potash, the UK Highways Agency’s second supplier, said it had arranged for 40,000 tonnes of salt to be imported from its sister mine in Spain to meet the increased demand. Hertfordshire County Council, one of the councils which said stocks were running low, said it was seeking additional supplies from abroad.

Those of us who grew up in Britain in the 1950s are made of sterner stuff. I remember walking to school in the smog when buses crawled along and flares marked crossings and junctions. I also slogged through the snow and huddled with the rest of my class around the radiator as we and our damp clothes steamed and the ice on our shoes melted.

Few of us, pupils or teachers, had cars or central heating in those post-war years – yet somehow life went on despite the harsh weather. My father had to commute by train from South London in to the city and I never remember him having a day off because of the weather. It is not only the Fox News presenters who are bemused – because any Briton over the age of 50 will be wondering what has happened to our nation that it could be floored by a snow flake or two.

1 comment:

Tanner said...

Life here in Essex has certainly come to a halt. No buses, trains, postman, dustman or anything at all. Its still snowing with hardly any form of life going on at all or in the near future. Having said that my son has been braving the walk to work at 5am every morning but he has been the only one to do so. He's been doing everyones work as well as his own. They had better not get paid for it or words will be said.