BY GUEST BLOGGER PETE
As I write this blog on Thursday morning the snow is falling heavily, This has been the pattern since Monday morning, although a smattering of the white stuff did put in an initial appearance over the weekend.
Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (excluding Scotland) have been the worse affected in the UK. We in England, despite having jokes made pretty continuously about our weather, are not experienced in handling such a downfall of snow. Roads become blocked - even Lincoln experienced a gridlock one evening during the rush hour - schools close, workers struggle to get to work, owners of four wheel drive vehicles are asked to take nurses into the hospital or on their rounds, the bus company closes down, emergency admissions to hospital is the order of the day and shops begin to run out of everyday essentials. I estimate that we have had 18 inches of snow - which probably means about 14 inches! - although I haven't taken a ruler outside to measure it.
The big disaster to hit Lincoln, though, has been the cancellation of our Christmas market - the first time in its 27 year history. Well over 100,000 visitors were expected to visit the event; that number being based on the attendance for previous years. For many of the stall holders and shop keepers in the city centre this will entail real financial hardship, especially hard in the present economical climate. It is estimated that about £10,000,000 is usually put into the local economy by this Christmastide event.
Stall holders have not yet been informed whether or not they will be reimbursed for payments already made in advance to the City Council. This morning on Radio Lincolnshire it was suggested that the insurance taken out by the City fathers did not cover the cancellation of the Market. This has still to be either denied or confirmed. The official reason being given for the cancellation of the market is concern for the safety of visitors.
Lincoln's roads have been and still are badly affected by the snowfall. In the hope of keeping the market open many resources were devoted to uphill Lincoln for clearing away snow and maintaining access.
Criticism is often heard that other countries always cope with heavy snowfall, such as this, a lot better than we do in the U.K.. Also on Radio Lincolnshire this morning was a report that the Council's snow blower had been used for the first time in 12 years. Such snow storms as we are experiencing are not the norm for us and even when we get a winter like this one - nothing similar since sometime in the 1980s - the expense of purchasing expensive equipment that will be only be used every other decade or so just can't be justified.
The photos for this week's blog are taken on Tuesday afternoon and really do nothing approaching justice to the true situation and depth of snow. They do, however, show a picture of our car. That car is a constant deterant to out two grandsons - "Misbehave and I'll give you a lift to school in my car!"