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Our winter meltdown

LAST week I was invited into Solihull Council’s salt-barn - which is fully stocked for this winter.

LAST week I was invited into Solihull Council’s salt-barn - which is fully stocked for this winter.

It’s good to see the local authority taking precautions, but why is it we struggle so much to cope with the bad weather?

It’s pretty embarrassing that a sprinkling of the white-stuff and a touch of frost brings the country grinding to a halt.

Business shuts down, schools barricade their doors and there’s blanket coverage on the six o’clock news.

In fact the media has to come up with new and dubious words just to convey how much trouble we’re in. Black ice on the roads! The white out has come! Abandon hope all ye without an ice-scraper!

Several times last winter I went out, quite expecting to be some time - mainly because the buses had stopped running.

“You’d better turn back,” I told a sixth-former with me on work experience, “I don’t think they’ll be ready for this”.

Sure enough, when I made the return journey two hours later the service had gone down to A roads only.

Elsewhere I saw elderly women making a run on supplies at Sainsbury’s, as if Heinz soup wouldn’t survive “the big freeze”, while 20-year-olds ventured out in the sort of heavy-duty clothing Ernest Shackleton would probably have considered “a bit much”.

RIP that most British gift - understatement. Buried under four inches of snow (six on high ground).

 

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