One thing that impressed me during my hours of snowbound travel was the spirit of the people around me.
At various times people would leave their vehicles in search of news then on returning they would stop and share what news there was with others. When cars were stuck others gave a helping hand with pushing them until they could move without help.
When I reached the village 2.5 hours after leaving work, I got out of my car. The man from the car ahead of me (KFC)was standing around with his large umbrella he offered me shelter from the snow while we both stretched our legs. I had been trying to contact my sons to tell them why I wasn't home, but I couldn't get a signal. He offered me the use of his phone which was on another network.
During another break in our progress he went off to the garage to buy a sandwich. On his return he asked if I needed anything. Later when we were at another junction further on from the garage an elderly gentleman from a couple of cars behind me asked to borrow my mobile (I was using it to listen to local radio and to text my family ). KFC offered him the use of his phone. The elderly man was then able to contact an aquaintance to arrange a bed for the night. He was then assisted to move his car to the side of the road so he could walk off.
The car behind mine had a family including a girl of around 8 or 9 who seemed to be enjoying the adventure and played in the snow a bit. Her father and KFC helped me to find and fit my towing eye. There were people from nearby houses walking along offering hot drinks food and toilets. They also organised somewhere for people to go to if they were not able to go any further. They kept us informed of what was happening further up the hill where a farmer was towing cars with his tractor to the top of the long steep hill.
When it was almost our turn to be towed by the tractor locals gave us a push start to get as far up as we could. While I was being hooked up to the tractor the father from behind tried to give the tractor driver some cash to thank him for his work. But it was refused.
At one point when I was talking to the woman a couple of cars ahead she was very worried about having to walk the last few miles home. KFC lives in the same town, he said he would walk her home before continuing the last few miles himself.
Whilst all this was going on I was listening to the local radio in the hope of hearing anything useful. The entire time the only topic was the snow and the traffic problems. There were lots of tales of people helping motorists. Including a couple who had been not only giving motorist a helping push but hot drinks and toilet stop for some. They even gave a bed to an old lady in her 90's who had got stuck. The wife told how they had lost their son in Afghanistan last year and doing their bit to help in this current crisis had suddenly brought meaning back into her husband's life.
Drivers of 4 x 4's including a family friend were giving care workers lifts to work.
These people made what could have been a miserable experience less painful to endure. It is the way people pull together like this in times of crisis that put the Great back into Britain.
“Doing” a Doctorate – week 36
3 days ago