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A Winter's Tale

How Would 21st Century Britain Cope With A 1946/1947 Or 1962/1963 Style Winter?

A 1946/1947 or 1962/1963 in 21st Century Britain?  

159 members have voted

  1. 1. How Would we Cope with such a winter?

    • It would be hard to begin with but eventually we should get through it!
    • It would be a complete and utter disaster with some may vicious circles!
    • We would get through it like 2009/2010 and December 2010.
    • We would never ever recover!
    • Our Entire system of Education, Food, Sport, Work would be messed up with an effect on economy?
    • We would get through it with no complaints?
    • I don't care who the country does as I would cope!
  2. 2. How Would You Cope?

    • Terribe! Can't go to work, get food, kids off school - a living nightmare
    • Pretty Bad! Extra hard work with looking after elderly neighbours and trying to do some work.
    • Bad? I would love the weather but it would have too much of an effect on my life and community?
    • Okay? I'm lived through 1963 and I love a good old fashioned winter execpt for the heating bills.
    • Quite Good? I love snow and there would be no school but I can't see my friends and School will be hell afterwards.
    • Good? No more of that scary boss at work and I and the village love snow? Just like the old days.
    • Brilliant? I've always wanted a classic winter and I've got no School and I can in the snow with my family and neighbours.
  3. 3. What Length of a Cold Spell would only just be Okay for the UK?

    • 1-2 Weeks - Just look at February 2009! We can't handle snow anymore!!!
    • 2-4 Weeks - A 2009/2010 event is the longest length of cold and snow that we can handle.
    • 1 Month - If we survived 2009/2010 then surely we could survive a few more weeks.
    • 1-2 Months - If we got through those classic winter then a month or two would be fine. But no longer!
    • An entire winter - I think that in the end we would get through an entire winter but heating bills etc will be iffy.
  4. 4. How Much snow can we handle.

    • 5-10CM - Well why else would the Met Office issued Extreme Weather warnings for 5cm
    • 10-20cm - For settlements and isolated areas this would be too much.
    • 20-40cm - If we got through 1947 and November 2010 then we should be fine with this.
    • 40-70cm - Some populated areas in the USA get 2 feet of snow and they cope.
    • 60-90cm - We coped with this in the past, the rest of the world can and the UK in 2011 can!
    • 100cm + - We should cope with 100cm and I would love it!
  5. 5. Every Winter - What is the Snow Depth that aim to Get

    • 0-5cm - As long as we get lying snow
    • 5-10cm - Pretty decent for me
    • 10-20cm - I would love this
    • 20-40cm - I would love to see this again!
    • 40-60cm - I only got 20cm last year and other places got 60cm.
    • 60-90cm - This would be perfect in a classic North Easterly
    • 90cm + - Not too big and Not too small - Just perfect and I could still get about!


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Maybe it's time to come back to this thread :-) he he he

Yeah it's looking good isn't it? And we weren't ever going to get away with NEVER having a winter like the 'big ones', hopefully this will be it and the people of Britain will remember who's in charge (Mother Nature) and not Cameron :-P

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I do not think that we would cope well but i think that we could.

The fact is that the effect of winter weather was amplified due to the poor attitude of Britains the last 2 winters.

If you do not want to slip then start using proper footwear (women especially slipped because of poor footwear) and also use a stick/ski stick to keep your balance.

Forget this cannot get to work rubbish, there are less than 5 days in the past two winters when there have been no bus or train services in Leeds (which has been hit comparatively worse to most, especially in winter 2010). If you cannot drive then get a bus or train.

Buy snow tyres in July when they are dirt cheap.

Bulk by frozen goods and just leave the in the garden.

There are so many things which people can do but did not, instead choosing to blame the government for not gritting enough.

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In Jan 2010 I had a good laugh at all the people who "couldn't" make it to work because of the snow. It seems many who work behind a desk struggle with the idea of good old fashioned walking. I trounced through about a foot of snow all day, day in day out, and managed perfectly fine. I think when most people say they can't get into work because of snow they really mean they can't be bothered.

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My first 2 votes had to be cast for the second bottom rather than the bottom as i do not go to school anymore (although my hatred for school was what got me into weather forecasting or snowhopecasting should i call it), and i did not want to appear uncaring about others by saying i could not care less about the rest of the country alse they would have all been bottom, i just want to see this place completely cut off for weeks with 6 foot drifts though but realistically i would just love to see one fall of at least somewhere near a foot of level snow again, i havent seen one since feb 91.

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We may find out if we see a similar style winter to those mentioned in the coming winters ahead.

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you would cope and cope pretty well IMO..after the initial messing round it would become the norm..everybody and everything adapts..every winter in Canada is like 1963 but life goes on as normal.

absolutely

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Try going to Helsinki or Stockholm during the first snowfall of the winter - absolute chaos, highway jams, car crashes, cars in ditches, cars on motorway embankments, cars abandoned.. during a heavy snowfall in Helsinki/southern Finland last winter, all this occurred - winter catches even the most prepared people with their pants down - but when snow falls in these places, it's unlikely to shift anytime soon, so you get on with it, and what snow has fallen is removed off the roads and pavements.

Bearing in mind that these issues are almost always caused because people do not switch to winter tyres straight away!

PS: Helsinki snowfall, 3rd February 2012 - now known as 'The Day Helsinki Stood Still'

article-0-1195CBFF000005DC-513_966x482.jpg

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I do not think that we would cope well but i think that we could.

The fact is that the effect of winter weather was amplified due to the poor attitude of Britains the last 2 winters.

If you do not want to slip then start using proper footwear (women especially slipped because of poor footwear) and also use a stick/ski stick to keep your balance.

Forget this cannot get to work rubbish, there are less than 5 days in the past two winters when there have been no bus or train services in Leeds (which has been hit comparatively worse to most, especially in winter 2010). If you cannot drive then get a bus or train.

Buy snow tyres in July when they are dirt cheap.

Bulk by frozen goods and just leave the in the garden.

There are so many things which people can do but did not, instead choosing to blame the government for not gritting enough.

Not sure how anyone could use snow as an excuse for not getting to work in Leeds - the buses and trains ran brilliantly throughout both winters IMO (bar 1 December which was utter chaos, entire city gridlocked).

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There pretty useless if you live on high ground.

For example at one point all buses were suspended on the evening of the 2nd Feb 2009. Trains are awful when it rains, windy, snows or is sunny.

Running through headingley whether it be bus or car is congested at the best of time, when it rains add an extra hour, snows add an extra four.

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Not sure how anyone could use snow as an excuse for not getting to work in Leeds - the buses and trains ran brilliantly throughout both winters IMO (bar 1 December which was utter chaos, entire city gridlocked).

I used to work in Horsforth Leeds. I found strange I could get to work from Sheffield yet people living close by couldn't get in. Boss tried to send me home a few times becuase of snow and looked stunned when I said I was okay and left at the normal time.

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Re. walking to work, it depends on how far you live from where you work, surely? In today's society a lot more people live a significant distance from where they work- a 40-minute walk to work could easily be coped with by most people but in some cases we'd be talking more like 4 hours. There is a problem with some people using snow as an excuse to stay off work when they could easily get in, but also one with people with genuine claims being tarred with the same brush.

As for whether we would cope with another 1962/63, I think we would cope alright with a repeat of December 1962 and January 1963, but we may well struggle during February 1963. I recall that during December 2010, there were threats of the National Grid freezing over if we had a similarly cold January, and at that point we would have to make do without many of the things that we take for granted, so 6-8 weeks seems to be approximately the limit. After that, most of us would still survive but we'd have to make do with far simpler lifestyles.

For me personally, my tolerance of cold snowy weather tends to drop if it turns to solid ice for a long period with no topups to cover up the ice, or if we end up cut off or deprived of electricity etc. for a long period (I'm thinking upwards of a week here). I find it hard to see myself turning my back on snow events altogether and saying, "I don't want any more until the next season", but I can certainly see myself hoping for temporary thaws to allow the National Grid to recover and/or remove the ice. This is a pretty high threshold- it was never crossed throughout November/December 2010- but it may well have been passed at some point during 1962/63.

Overall though I think a repeat of 1962/63 would be rather easier to deal with than a repeat of 1946/47 (more serious snowfalls and a general shortage of sunshine in February/March) or, as Kevin noted, the ice-storm of January 1940.

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Snow is the perfect excuse for not going to work - during January 2010 I saw people at 5am waiting for the bus, so there really is no valid excuse.

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Not everywhere has reliable buses. I suppose one could argue that someone in a cut-off area with a 4-hour walk to work could walk there from 5-9am, work 9am-5pm, and then walk home from 5-9pm and still have 12 hours for sleeping and eating in so "there is no excuse", but there are substantially greater health implications there than with someone who could take an hour or less walking or getting the bus to work.

There's also the issue of those whose work involves travelling a lot and who are unable to carry out their work due to snowdrifts, ice etc. Tarring everyone with one brush due to the misbehaviour of some is the norm these days but it doesn't make it right.

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The element missing from recent winters has been widespread blizzards. The wind is such a major issue in regard to disruption. Both 1947/63 had wind snow events. Blowing snow onto roads and reduced visibility can cause major transport disruption in a few hours.

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It;d be carnage at first but once we get a grip of the roads and transport network and ensure internet and the power network is ok we should be fine.

On a personal note, would absolutely love it. Fed up of hearing my dad go on about snow up to the windows when he was a kid.

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Snow is the perfect excuse for not going to work - during January 2010 I saw people at 5am waiting for the bus, so there really is no valid excuse.

There is when the buses don't run, on the grounds that 'conditions are too dangerous'! Which happened on numerous occasions, in December 2010...

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On a personal note, would absolutely love it. Fed up of hearing my dad go on about snow up to the windows when he was a kid.

The thing is that used to happen. Like digging you way out of your house as well. Nov/Dec 2010 came close we just needed another 24 hours of Snow...

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The thing is that used to happen. Like digging you way out of your house as well. Nov/Dec 2010 came close we just needed another 24 hours of Snow...

I don't doubt it. Just be nice to have an event where that line isn't pulled out.

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The most we had was in early December 2010 when we had something along the lines of 18 inches (45cm). We did have some issues in that the local shop was out of bread and milk by the end of week so we had to venture on a very icy bus route to get groceries but actually I thought it really brought people together. There are some snow depths at which you'd really struggle though: I believe Mondy in Falkirk which is a medium sized town had over 2 feet, most of it falling on the one day, and that was pretty awful. It was also incidentally the day that was meant to be the 'back to school/work' day which was backed up by the transport minister, local authorities and the Met Office, which, although they won't admit it, totally missed the extent and severity of the snowfall, predicting 1-2cm when it was over a foot in many parts. This then led to many people being stranded on the mate in their cars and total chaos as school buses were sent out at 8am only to bring the kids home again at 10.30am after failing to physically get to the school. The depth probably wouldn't be as issue as much as a lack of preparedness by the authorities and individuals for that kind of snowfall, but if it was like 2009/10 and the accumulations built up gradually and the wind stayed fairly light then I think we could cope with up to 2-3 feet widely.

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The worst winters that I can recall are 78/79 and 67, huge drifts of over fifteen feet, but guess what public transport still ran and the milkman and postman always arrived on time.

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I have to drive to work as i live about 10 miles away. When i get there i have to get in a van and go out and do deliveries. So for me it's not just a case of getting to work. Driving IS my work. The snow can stay in the arctic where it belongs in my opinion sad.png

I think a lot of people are fed up of these cold winters now though and do make an effort to clear roads and paths. In Feb this year it was all cleared pretty quickly. Even country lanes. Grit is useless while it's snowing. It only starts to work once the snow has stopped.

In Spring & Summer my job is the best in the world. Autumn & Winter it's awful

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Grit also leaves ugly brown patches everywhere and, if applied in a half-baked way, can succeed only in partially melting the snow, subsequently turning it to ice and making conditions underfoot more dangerous than if no grit had been applied at all. Thus I too prefer the "clearing the snow" approach to the heavy use of grit.

Some good points about the way some people rely upon driving for their work in itself, showing that there is more to it in some cases than whether you can get to work or not.

Taking the country as a whole I think most of us, with some exceptions, would get by alright with the transport disruption and many snow lovers would find that the benefits of the cold snowy weather outweighed the inconvenience- but more of us would be seriously tested if sources of core supplies like water and electricity were to freeze over. My assertions there are related to posts from Pennine Ten Foot Drifts back in December 2010 noting that the National Grid providers were worried about the freezing level penetrating well below the ground surface. Of course that would require several weeks of persistent sub-zero weather, so I doubt that a repeat of, say, 1978/79 or 1981/82 would get to that level.

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I’ve read this thread with interest. Many people saying that there is no excuse not to get to work… I think it’s a bit harsh…

Remember that many schools close, more often than not, due to safety concerns about the children getting there. (I used to live next door to an infant school and the ice build up on the pavement meant that Mrs Plum could hardly push a pushchair through.) This means that parents may have to take a day off.

I’m lucky – my commute is a 35 minute walk to work over a park; when it snows I toboggan down a hill to work… ;) However, my boss lives 30 minutes away and there is no public transport between her home and Reigate. Luckily, her and her husband had a land rover in 2010 – it still took them 2.5 hours to do the commute.

My wife works with children who leave care – the nature of her work means that she has to drive around Surrey and beyond – in heavy snow, this is just not possible!

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I have to drive to work as i live about 10 miles away. When i get there i have to get in a van and go out and do deliveries. So for me it's not just a case of getting to work. Driving IS my work. The snow can stay in the arctic where it belongs in my opinion sad.png

I think a lot of people are fed up of these cold winters now though and do make an effort to clear roads and paths. In Feb this year it was all cleared pretty quickly. Even country lanes. Grit is useless while it's snowing. It only starts to work once the snow has stopped.

In Spring & Summer my job is the best in the world. Autumn & Winter it's awful

Totally agree with this, there are no benefits at all for snow or cold weather apart from for the ski areas in scotland, it is just a total pain to get anywhere and heating costs too much. I just hope we get back to the very mild winters again and leave the cold for other countries.

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Totally agree with this, there are no benefits at all for snow or cold weather apart from for the ski areas in scotland, it is just a total pain to get anywhere and heating costs too much. I just hope we get back to the very mild winters again and leave the cold for other countries.

That is a ridiculous statement! Snow has personal benefits - people enjoy it, people like to see it fall and people like the way it looks. If you have a job that is disrupted by snow, I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm not going to change my weather preferences for the benefit of yourself, thank you very much.. I hope it will snow as much as possible this winter, and it can cause all the disruption it likes for all I care, at least I'll get time off work.

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