6am view from my office at home window. I think today I’m happy to be retired go back to bed with a second cup of tea and let the rest of you get on with it.
I know that getting older can seriously affect the way we remember things from the past and indeed how they affected us. It’s a big grown with the family when I announce “I remember when” but there ain’t nowt wrong with my memory. Which brings me to this week and the snow. I can remember clearly the winter of 1947 ZZzzzzzzzzzz. Please try to stay awake it’s relevant, honest. Some comparisons with today were inevitable. We were living in abject poverty after the war and trying to rebuild our lives. There was not enough fuel, we were burning fences and trees and anything else we could get our hands on. Visits to the local gas works with a pram to get coke were common with queues waiting for the valuable fuel. We had one fire in a downstairs sitting room. No insulation and drafts that blew in through holes in doors and window frames. One pair of woollen gloves that needed to be dried by the fire if they got wet.
The weeks of the freeze though were not to be just endured. Little brother and I had a great time. Building snow men, snow ball fights and I even earned a few pennies clearing snow for neighbours.
The snow was piled high wherever there was space to pile it.
There were few cars around but as far as I can remember they and the busses and trams were able to get around. Some disruption yes, but nothing like the scenes this week. Schools were never shut. We struggled into school. I can’t remember at any stage during my school years that I missed a day due to snow. What I can remember is being bloody cold when we got there and the 6inch heating pipes we sat on to warm us up. We were even sent out to play at play time although there was an option of staying indoors. I got chilblains which itched like crazy but we went to school. The school loos were outside. My dad went to work and mum did the shopping with me in tow to wait in the queues that were still common on the High St with rationing still being in place.
It’s time we took a long hard look at snow policy and the barmy way we go about making the decisions these days.
Congratulations to Sandwell though who seem to have done an excellent job keeping our borough moving.