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A bit of snow

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A bit of snow

Postby tightwadswife » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:50 am

ELMER FUDD wrote » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:30 pm

"What has this nation come to? It's unbelievable that schools close and cars are in difficulty because of a light dusting of snow today. As one who ploughed his way through snow drifts measured in feet to get to school or find myself written off as a sciver, I pray the Icelanders don't try to invade or we are all done for"

Good point Elmer. Have we all gone soft? A little bit of snow and ice should not have the nation grinding to a halt.
Do we blame the media and the met office with it's snow alerts (Eeek!! A red triangle!)?
Why the overreaction? I don't get it.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Tomas Drouty » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:10 am

I agree, however, I blame the health and safety brigade and compensation culture more than the media and met office.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby moanersRus » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:50 pm

Scholls close and people cant get to work BUT they all manage to get to a supermarket and wipe out there stocks!!!!

me buying 90 loaves and 80 litres of milk had nothing to do with it whatsoever lmao
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Caz » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:05 pm

Unfortunately I agree and I blame our modern lifestyle!

I would have gone to school in knee deep snow, though I was only knee high to a grasshopper then. Teachers would turn up because they all lived locally and didn't have to come by car, just as well because there weren't many cars in those days - exactly, so we didn't depend on them! We also had a big coal and log burner in the middle of the classroom - the huts at Hetts Lane - so we had no central heating to break down and stop us from going to school.

We didn't have to drive to out of town supermarkets as local shops sold all the produce we needed and most was sourced locally. Milk from local farms, bread from the local bakery, so we had no problems with supplies getting through the snow, but that was also when we cooked everything from basic ingredients, rather than processed or ready meals.

These days, as soon as a heavy snowfall is forecast, people panic because we've seen the disruption it's caused on previous occassions. Too many cars on the roads that cause delays and people working miles from home and trying to get home. No milk and bread because the artics they're delivered in are stranded on the motorway. School boilers breaking down because they're finely tuned gas fired ones that can't take the strain of temperatures below freezing. And, as TD says, H&S regs state classrooms have to be a certain temperature, playgrounds have to be clear of ice etc, etc!!!
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby ELMER FUDD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:37 pm

You have hit the nail on the head there Caz when you mention teachers living farther away from their places of work. Health and safety has a part to play in school closures during snowtimes but it is the teachers who live far from their schools who are the real beneficiaries of the modern practice of closing schools on sight of a snowflake.
As for traffic problems during snowy weather, bad driving is a major factor. There was a prang up by the Windmill yesterday lunchtime that could have been completely avoided if a little care had been taken. Thankfully, nobody was injured. It's to be hoped this cold spell is short lived, I'm rarin' to get back into my Bermuda shorts.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Caz » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:16 am

Several prangs during this cold spell that I already know of I'm afraid and I don't think this cold spell is going to be so short lived either. I do enjoy all the weather we have though and snow is one of my favourites as we don't get much of it.

Back to topic. I know we always hear the complaint that this country can't cope with snow, but that's because we don't get it often enough to warrent us putting all the things in place to enable us to cope.

When I was in Canada, I was impressed with how they coped with the very low temperatures and big snowfalls. The airports don't close because they have heating under runways, snow ploughs go up and down roads constantly keeping roads clear and because their towns are miles apart, everyone works where they live so they don't miss work. It's also law in some parts for each householder to keep their own paths clear of snow, so they own little snow gobbling machines the size of lawnmowers.

The difference is, they get snow for months on end every single year. They have to invest in such things and adjust their lifestyle to suit the weather otherwise they wouldn't function. For us to put all those things in place just for two or three days a year some years, it's just not cost effective.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby BigAl » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:24 am

So why is it always the Uk that shuts down when there is an inch of snow, the rest of the world seem to cope. Every other country has the same problems as talked about above.
If you look at it logically you see that other nations prepare their countries for such things and have done over long periods in the past where the Uk has spent money and investment on certain parts of the country but not the country as a whole.
Then again its not only snow that causes disruption, the wrong type of leaves on rail lines, the wrong type of rain filling the water table, too much heat and sun and rail lines and electric cables get affected etc etc.
Mother nature ain't going to change what she throws at us, apart from more of it, so it is going to be interesting to see what happens over the next 20 years or so.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Andrew Daykin » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:20 am

Caz wrote: School boilers breaking down because they're finely tuned gas fired ones that can't take the strain of temperatures below freezing.



I would like to meet the person who decided it would be OK to have domestic gas boilers with an overflow pipe slowly dripping away outside and as soon as it froze the boiler shut down. !!
I'm no expert, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Caz » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:37 pm

The big difference with the British Isles is just that. We are small islands and our weather is largely maritime influenced and we have the Atlantic to the West and the land mass of Europe to the East. We're geographically placed to have changeable weather as well as being influenced by the Jet Stream and the Polar Vortex. European countries can forecast their weather much better because of their geographic location and their climate is pretty much guaranteed all year round due to the land mass. You know you can go to Spain in summer and pretty much guarantee sunshine, or you can go to any Alpine country during winter and get some good skiing weather. Those that are snowy in winter, know they'll be snowy every winter for a few months, so they're prepared for it and the measures they take are cost effective as they're well practiced.

In the UK, the snowier parts do prepare for it and can cope because they get it for a few months every year. For example, when I was in the Scottish Highlands in October, people working as maintainence staff at the watersports centre were finishing for the season and going to their winter jobs of driving snow ploughts and gritters etc. Further South, we just don't get snow for much more than a couple of days a year and it's not always disruptive, so it's not cost effective for council's to keep fleets of snow ploughs roadworthy etc. And of course it would be the tax payer who felt the sting if they did!

It's very rare that snow affects the whole country at the same time and we can very rarely forecast exact location or depths of snow. It's pretty much a case of looking out of the window to see what it's doing. This last fall of snow didn't do exactly as predicted and the next lot coming on Friday has moved around with every forecast for the past 2 days, so we still don't quite know where the worst will hit and it's only two days away but it will still move around until it actually falls - somewhere!

Coming home from Canada, at the airport in Calgary, I was speaking with some Canadians about how well they coped with the snow and how badly we do with services and schools closing etc. They said that they always laugh at parts of the US because the same happens there and even more often than it does in the UK. So although we might scoff at ourselves, we're not the worst prepared in the World!
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby moanersRus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:20 pm

I remember going to warsop vale junior in snow we HAD to do lessons in the morning and we HAD to have a huge snowball fight in the afternoon organised by Mr Carr. Then we were walked home to church warsop by the teachers as bus not running
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Westmorland » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:33 pm

Its January why are we so surprised when it snows, it will come and it will it go and then we have Spring.......so hang in there guys
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Caz » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:42 pm

Just had a report from a friend driving home across the continent and he said driving was good until he got about 20 miles south of Calais and they'd got snow and the roads hadn't been cleared, so it was manic. I'd think Calais isn't used to having snow either as it has a climate similar to Kent, so they would be as unprepared as we are.
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby mikkimack » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:21 pm

Road problems with snow...prob too many cars on roads now..everybody going to work..miles away, school runs..also..most seem to drive too close and bit too fast..?? not had much snow driving experience ?. :D
everybody going to big supermarkets....... local shops are a bonus in bad weather.so support them at other times too...... please :)

with these new boilers...they seem to need more repairs than the older type boilers..they went on for years...as for the condensing outlet pipe freezing up on newer boilers .??..surely heating companies must know they would need insulating for zero temps...??..why don't they do it ?? or do they ?? ;)
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Re: A bit of snow

Postby Caz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:30 am

Another point about driving in snowy conditions. We don't actually get much chance to experience it, so yes, we are all inexperienced, much more so than people who live in snowy countries.

I do think we've coped with the snow very well this year. There has been little disruption on roads and the council seem to have cleared them very efficiently. However, we usually get a thaw very quickly following a fall of snow and that is often followed by a freeze, which makes clearing it up difficult. This time, we have had fairly constant temperatures throughout and it does make a big difference.
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