AFTER working in the morning I babysat for my daughter in Battle last Monday afternoon while she popped to the dentist.
It had been snowing but it was powdery, blowing around a lot and not really laying. The roads particularly seemed very clear. On leaving her house at around 4pm the snow began to get thicker and the wind a little wilder.
I drove through Battle with no problem until I arrived at the hill near Telham and a long line of traffic began to queue. It looked like some vehicles were struggling to get up the hill as the road iced up and lots turned around and went back the other way. I did the same. Going down Marley Lane was easy and along the A21 until Kent Street when traffic just stopped.
From then on a nightmare began, moving two or three feet, then waiting 10 to 20 minutes, then moving another few feet. This ‘progress’ continued hour after hour.
I reached the road bridge at the top of the A21 at 9pm. Many cars were abandoned by the roadside and the occupants walked off into the night. Some cars slithered and whined over patches of sheet ice and drivers struggled to keep control.
There were valiant men and some small boys, clearing ice patches and pushing vehicles over the worst of the ice patches without a thought to their own safety or comfort and I and many others were grateful for their help and kindness.
I pulled up opposite the Premier Inn eventually giving up hope of getting home and desperate for the loo. The hotel was full to bursting point and a lady with her husband and two small children kindly offered me space on the floor of their room if I was stranded.
This snow was expected but quickly overwhelmed whatever efforts had been made by the highways authority in treating the roads. If indeed any effort had been made.
It was great though to see once again the spirit of the British people as they laughed, shared and helped each other.