Play time as schools closed yet again(February 06, 2009)
A new phrase came to life in Warminster as the arctic conditions once again caused big changes to family life writes Paul Macdonald.
'Snow affects play' will soon become the winter equivalent of the summer saying 'rain affects play' if conditions persist.
Once again scores of youngsters took to the open spaces on Thursday to revel in the deep coating of snow as school after school told them to stay at home for the day.
Excited youngsters were ringing each other at 7.30am with the news that their studies were postponed once again and planning their daily enjoyment of free entertainment provided by nature.
National headlines ran stories criticising schools for closing but locally it is such an unusual event parents were accepting their lot with equanimity.
Kingdown secondary school has only been open one full day this week.
"It is great that the kids are out playing together with a thrill away from the TV and the computer," said one mother at the town park.
"It is a great education for them to play naturally,"
Children (pictured) were enjoying the town park in a new way as the swings and roundabouts were buried in snow.
However, one group of sled-boarders were branded as completely inconsiderate.
Cley Hill proved so popular that the small car park there quickly filled up and others who turned up parked on the road reducing the busy road to Frome to one lane.
"I have no problem with people enjoying themselves," said a local domestic appliance repairman. "But I ask you!"
The adverse conditions have once again provided many examples of good neighbourliness around the town as people offer to shop for the elderly and infirm but one resident went a step further.
The local authorities have been working overtime to cope and make the roads and pavements safe but they cannot get everywhere.
In East End Avenue a good Samaritan, Tom Toner, has regularly been out in the freezing cold spreading grit from the yellow bin on the slippery road and pavement slope.
"The council cannot get everywhere," he explained. "We can't let the elderly that live up the way risk walking down to the town on the snow."
During the day the snow once again disappeared from most major routes as temperatures went above freezing during the day.
The next 24 hours could bring more problems as a worker who checked with the 'met people' at the RAF base where he works before setting off for home on Thursday evening was warned that they were expecting eight to ten inches more snow up until mid afternoon today (Friday).
They advise drivers to find an alternative route or stay home for the day.
The severe weather conditions in the Warminster area have seen a new arrival on the scene.
A distinctive looking specialised all-terrain 4x4 Mazda ambulance from a St. John's unit based in Clevedon in Avon is being used by the Great Western Ambulance Service locally providing extra cover.
*People living near grit bins on hills are urged to ensure that they use them as the county council is expected to check to see whether they have been used during the current bad weather and remove those that haven't.