Snow slows Britain



‘A skeletal service will run due to adverse weather. Passengers are advised not to travel.’ Train indicator at Mortlake Station. Photo BBC on-line News.

(Click on picture to see original on BBC ‘Winter weather slide show’.)

A fall of some four inches of snow caused chaos in South Eastern England on Monday. 1 in 5 people failed to get to work. All London buses were cancelled in the morning. Trains and tubes were cancelled. Schools were closed. Two Eurostar trains became trapped in the Channel Tunnel. Today South East Britain slowly got its act together, but new snow storms spread the chaos to Wales and the South West.

It wasn’t always like this. I remember the great winter of 1962-63 travelling as a young schoolboy alone by train from Paddington to Leamington Spa. It was really cold and as we crossed the GW&GCJR viaduct at Denham I could see icebound narrowboats trapped on the Grand Union. But the trains and Underground ran almost normally. Nobody dreamt of saying ‘Passengers are advised not to travel’. My parents were quite confident that I would arrive on time at my destination. Britain was a different country in those days and the railways were run by railwaymen and not ‘managers’.

Rail pundit Christiam Wolmar picked up the same theme in his blogWhat is missing is the old ‘the show must go on’ Windmill spirit. The spinelessness is reflected elsewhere, too: Camden’s parks are all closed for safety reasons and the government building where my daughter works was threatened with closure because not enough security staff had got through the snow.

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3 Responses to “Snow slows Britain”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    You will note, however (see results for competition 6) that even this website is affected by the weather.

    I admit that I didn’t drive in and, as the buses were off, I had a day off. I do remember when I was an apprentice battling up the trackside from Haymarket Station to the shed in a blizzard and ariving with the front of my donkey jacket and my greasetop hat covered in snow. That was 25 years ago – I did dress a bit old fashioned for the time!!

  2. Phil Says:

    Watch some daytime TV if you want to understand why parks etc. are closed. Half the adverts are from ambulance chasing lawyers busy telling people they have a RIGHT to compensation is anything bad happens to them. Those responsible for public spaces are just covering thier backs.

    The BBC may wonder why London buses stopped but they would be shouting even louder if they had run and then been involved in accidents.

  3. Michael Dembinski Says:


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