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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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It's purely a wish to see if my love of adverse weather can be tested to the point of destruction so that one day you might see me on here hoping for a mild, dry winter with plenty of sunshine, or whether I'd still feel the same after the granddaddy of all winters.

I must have a breaking point but I don't know where it is.

I do enjoy your posts TM, and I do suspect even you would find that breaking point IF the next Ice Age came along. Maybe we could restrict that type to a small area over 1,000ft centred 1/2 mile around your house. We could get the RAF to drop food parcels, not for you, but your family.

oh and of course any neighbours unlucky enough to be caught within the 1/2 mile circle.

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invest in snow and it will be less of a problem and i mean people as well as the government and councils etc.

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.

I remember you posting that you aren't old enough to have experienced the winter of 1946/47- that winter would surely have been the critical test!

I've posted earlier about breaking points beyond which I start hoping for a temporary thaw, but I rather suspect when it comes to experiencing a degree of cold/snow that would make me subsequently hope for mild dry winters, my breaking point might well be similar to yours. My enthusiasm for those sunshine-and-snow-showers setups, in particular, would have to take some extremely heavy battering through hardship for it not to come flooding back again straightaway.

You could be right, TWS. I think if I came through a repeat of 1947 with my enthusiasm for protracted snow and cold intact it would take the advent of the next ice age to take me beyond the limit.

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I do enjoy your posts TM, and I do suspect even you would find that breaking point IF the next Ice Age came along. Maybe we could restrict that type to a small area over 1,000ft centred 1/2 mile around your house. We could get the RAF to drop food parcels, not for you, but your family.

oh and of course any neighbours unlucky enough to be caught within the 1/2 mile circle.

I think if that were the case, John, I'd probably find myself living alone, with the family somewhere outside the 'exclusion zone' bringing the food parcels to their 'demented' old father/husband.

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Many people wouldn't cope well at all. The winters of yore came at a time when many people had experienced the rigours of the great depression and WW2. They were accustomed to hardship and had a fighting spirit to endure. Today many people have become soft and have a false sense of entitlement, they whine and moan when their internet connection fails let alone having a foot of snow on the ground. Also there is sadly now a generation of morons created by satnavs and smartphones, many people don't think for themselves anymore. Furthermore the herd mentality of these fools means that people would panic buy food and fuel, look at what happened earlier this year with the false 'fuel crisis.' I myself always have plenty of non-perishable food at home as a matter of course but imagine how the more telephone boxless among us would cope without being able to get to their local tesco. I also think society has become more selfish and less family oriented so the elderly and vulnerable won't get the help they would have in the past. Whilst many sensible folk are out there who will 'keep calm and carry on' I am afraid there are many in society today who are utterly useless individuals without an ounce of common sense. A cynical view but truthful I think.

PS if the weather does get bad, keep an eye not just on your family but on vulnerable neighbours too, if we all help each other like in the old days then no challenge is too great.

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Nice to see this thread in action again.

I think there are a number of differneces between now and 1947 that could make it harder to cope today. For all our technological advances we are far more exposed as an economy now than we ever have been.

The just in time philosophy of keeping low levels of stock in numerous businesses and then ordering like mad when there's a run on something as there would be in extreme weather leaves business unable to cope it means many more small deliveries being made by vehicles unable to cope with even a smattering of snow. This was hughlighted time and time again in Dec2010 in many different business. An inherent weakness of a service based economy.

Another thing that was highlighted by the three recent harder than normal winters was the sheer lack of man power available to deal with the problems( compared to years ago) local and regional councils have been cut and cut again ( this is not a politcal point just a fact).

,

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I think it's a bit unfair to judge a generation based on what they have not yet had to endure. Given the opportunity I think the younger people today would surprise the older "can do" generation with their resilience if faced with a 47/63 style winter. Generation X/Y get a lot of bad press, some of it justified, a lot of it not.

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Nice to see this thread in action again.

I think there are a number of differneces between now and 1947 that could make it harder to cope today. For all our technological advances we are far more exposed as an economy now than we ever have been.

The just in time philosophy of keeping low levels of stock in numerous businesses and then ordering like mad when there's a run on something as there would be in extreme weather leaves business unable to cope it means many more small deliveries being made by vehicles unable to cope with even a smattering of snow. This was hughlighted time and time again in Dec2010 in many different business. An inherent weakness of a service based economy.

Another thing that was highlighted by the three recent harder than normal winters was the sheer lack of man power available to deal with the problems( compared to years ago) local and regional councils have been cut and cut again ( this is not a politcal point just a fact).

,

i'd say it's good for small business in many ways but not so good for big business. If the model we live in is flawed, with the reliance on supermarkets and internet shopping then a good hard winter might be whats needed to give many a reality check. I'd say plenty good could come out of the winter from hell (heaven in my eyes) a great deal of that on a community/local scale.

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I think it's a bit unfair to judge a generation based on what they have not yet had to endure. Given the opportunity I think the younger people today would surprise the older "can do" generation with their resilience if faced with a 47/63 style winter. Generation X/Y get a lot of bad press, some of it justified, a lot of it not.

I'm in my 20s and I actually love shoveling snow - it's also a great way to stay in shape!

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I'm in my 20s and I actually love shoveling snow - it's also a great way to stay in shape!

or get a heart attack!

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I think it's a bit unfair to judge a generation based on what they have not yet had to endure. Given the opportunity I think the younger people today would surprise the older "can do" generation with their resilience if faced with a 47/63 style winter. Generation X/Y get a lot of bad press, some of it justified, a lot of it not.

I think some of the attitude from the can do generation is that over the last few years when there has been a few inches of snow transport has ground to a halt yet this was not the case in their generation.

In our defence their are considerably more cars on the road now with drivers though who have no idea of how to drive in snow!

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I think some of the attitude from the can do generation is that over the last few years when there has been a few inches of snow transport has ground to a halt yet this was not the case in their generation.

In our defence their are considerably more cars on the road now with drivers though who have no idea of how to drive in snow!

Agreed, but I think the health and safety and compensation culture of today has a lot to do with services, schools and workplaces being shut in even fairly insignificant wintery weather, not necessarily the attitude of the people.

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I think some of the attitude from the can do generation is that over the last few years when there has been a few inches of snow transport has ground to a halt yet this was not the case in their generation.

In our defence their are considerably more cars on the road now with drivers though who have no idea of how to drive in snow!

The other point is that in recent years we have got used to snow and ice being cleared by the efficient and well managed use of salt by the gritters and as was shown in 2010 we rapidly came perilously close to running out (down here on the south coast i believe we were within a week of that) and were only gritting primary roads. Many people living on side roads were simply stranded for days.

It is for this reason that I am convinced that we would be in real trouble if we were to experience a '63 winter. As others comment above our local resources have changed and we may have become a little blase as a result of a number of relatively mild winters.

I believe Councils have invested in rather more salt stocks and spreading equipment over the past couple of years but I still doubt the sufficiency to cover more than 6 weeks of real cold.

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I mentioned this before but how would the country cope if we had another January 1940 ice storm event? You can at least shovel snow, you try it with ice. It would be massive chaos.

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An ice storm would be catastrophic IMO - it would be utter carnage, we would be absolutely lost, people would die, especially if it struck during rush hour.

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Wouldn't a January 1940 style Ice storm bring countless power cables down? Our sheer reliance on electricity would be exposed. It would be pretty much worst case scenario as far as winter weather goes in this country.

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Wouldn't a January 1940 style Ice storm bring countless power cables down? Our sheer reliance on electricity would be exposed. It would be pretty much worst case scenario as far as winter weather goes in this country.

yes, glad I still have an open fire option for when there are power cuts - as supplies get ever more reliable we tend to take these things for granted and forget what the weather is capable of throwing at us.

Many of us also still rely on overhead lines for internet and mobile phone network also is reliant on mains power so freezing rain scenario is a credible risk

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make no mistake... people struggled in 1947. people struggled in 62/63. people would struggle in 2012/13. we'd get through it though...

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My experience over the last few winters has been that, on the whole, most people cope rather better than the media makes out, and so the accusations of the younger generations being "soft" are a bit wide of the mark. If you read the tabloids and hear the news the picture painted is usually a lot more negative than the overall reality, probably because the greatest negative impacts are the most news-worthy, and implying that the worst-affected groups are representative of the population as a whole makes for sensational headlines.

When the local news goes around polling people for their opinions on the snow, they choose their groups carefully, e.g. elderly people waiting at bus stops and retirement homes, and so the prevailing responses are about how disgraceful the weather is because snowy weather makes it particularly hard for many of the fragile to get around. If they were to survey students and lecturers at a university campus for example, the responses would often be very different.

However as many posts have noted, if we were to have a long cold winter with repeated severe snowstorms or, worse still, ice-storms, there would come a point beyond which the reality would be every bit as harsh as the media typically makes out.

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My experience over the last few winters has been that, on the whole, most people cope rather better than the media makes out, and so the accusations of the younger generations being "soft" are a bit wide of the mark. If you read the tabloids and hear the news the picture painted is usually a lot more negative than the overall reality, probably because the greatest negative impacts are the most news-worthy, and implying that the worst-affected groups are representative of the population as a whole makes for sensational headlines.

When the local news goes around polling people for their opinions on the snow, they choose their groups carefully, e.g. elderly people waiting at bus stops and retirement homes, and so the prevailing responses are about how disgraceful the weather is because snowy weather makes it particularly hard for many of the fragile to get around. If they were to survey students and lecturers at a university campus for example, the responses would often be very different.

However as many posts have noted, if we were to have a long cold winter with repeated severe snowstorms or, worse still, ice-storms, there would come a point beyond which the reality would be every bit as harsh as the media typically makes out.

Great post. People do cope better with severe cold spells. I agree that a more prolonged or repetitive spell throughout a winter would cause issues though (hence the topic title of this thread!). I think there was concern that 2010/2011 could go that way but it didn't (here in England anyway).

People are quick to learn as well. For example, around here...many folk have worked out the bus routes are a priority for gritting so on a snowy morning..people tend to stick to the main roads or use the roads that buses use. (We're not that good as bus lanes or bus only roads in the Black Country so that's not an issue!) I know many bosses at people's work will let them leave early during bad weather to give them a better chance of making it home at a reasonable time. The trains and buses are more busy during snowy weather. It's a part of human nature to find our way around a problem...and on a whole we do. However, that falls apart when problem solving accelerates in panicking and that's where the media come in....

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Agreed, but I think the health and safety and compensation culture of today has a lot to do with services, schools and workplaces being shut in even fairly insignificant wintery weather, not necessarily the attitude of the people.

Too right... every hazard is a money spinner for some.

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After the south east was hit by a storm of dandruff this morning, closing airports and schools, a 1946/47 type winter would bring it to it's knees. Only the hardy Northern folk, used to moving around in depths of snow greater than 1cm, would survive. nonono.gif

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The southerns can't cope with a dusting of snow so snowmageddon would bring them to a standstill let's face they can't cope with 3cm let a lone a foot or more

Us hardy northern folk just get on with it best we can, 3cm on Monday morning here in Darlington and did we come to a standstill up here no we just got on with it, were schools closed? nope, Airports and railway chaos? Nope it was business as usual

Honestly how 3cm forces an Airport to close for 2 and 1/2 hours is ridiculous regardless if it was forecast or not, I would have thought after 2010's snow they'd be ready but it appears there not

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