Thursday, January 03, 2008


The snow which greeted Brigg residents when they drew back their curtains this morning was hardly unexpected, given the extensive forecasts about winds blowing in from icy Siberia.
But every time we get a flurry of snow the UK seems to struggle, as we do with prolonged spells of rain. An inch or two of snow qualifies for the main story in TV or radio news bulletins.
What will those Eastern Europeans who have joined us in numbers in the Brigg area over the past few years make of our efforts to cope with a snowfall which would hardly be deserving of a second glance in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic? Perhaps they will manage a wry smile or two!
When snow settles in North Lincolnshire it always results in arguments about roads not being gritted, or not enough of them being gritted. And some residents voice beliefs the council (in return for its £1,000-plus council tax in many cases) ought to be out clearing footpaths for the benefit of shoppers and the elderly.
To be fair, well ahead of winter our unitary authority publishes details of what roads will be gritted or cleared, such as the A18 (Barnard Avenue/Wrawby Road) and the A1084 (Bigby Road/Bigby High Road). It does not have the resources to do individual streets. Whether we agree with that, or not, we can't claim we weren't warned.
Hornsby's 6.30am bus into Cary Lane, Brigg, arrived on time this morning from Ashby. But as it's market day it remains to be seen what shoppers make of the conditions in Wrawby Street and the Market Place, once the stalls and shops start trading.
One thing's for sure, however, many householders will be beating a path to the door of Brian's DIY, in Wrawby Street, to top up on suitable items to beat the freeze.
With the schoolchildren still being on holiday, there's also a rare opportunity to get down to the slopes of the Davy memorial playing field, on Bigby Road, for a spot of downhill sledging.
Or will the modern generation prefer to stay indoors, where it's warm, glued to the screens of their Nintendos, Gameboys or X-Boxes?
Back in the late 1960s/early 1970s, snow was always a mixed blessing for those of us being educated at Brigg Grammar School. At lunch-time, the headmaster, H B Williams (pictured above), would send round a message about buses leaving early to take pupils home to far away places like Snitterby, Willoughton and Keelby. But the relatively small number of us who lived in Brigg used to have to stay in school, then face a cycle ride home in terrible conditions. These days 'health and safety' might well point out, and quite rightly, that a boy with a bike is more at risk than pupils seated on a large coach going down the gritted/salted A18 or A15. But different rules applied in those days.

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