Tuesday, 3 February 2009

An Amazing Story,....

What follows is an amazing true story of determination in the face of abismal weather conditions that happened on the east coast over 125 years ago, read on.

WHITBY, YORKSHIRE 19 January 1881
After several days of heavy snowfall, at 10.30 am on 19 January 1881 Captain Robert Gibson, Harbour Master at Whitby, received a telegram to say that a ship had sunk off Robin Hood's Bay and that her crew had taken to the ship's boat, but had been forced to drop anchor. They were unable to reach land because of very heavy seas. The severity of the wind and the seas at Whitby made it impossible for the Whitby Lifeboat to be launched and sailed around to Robin Hood's Bay so the Lifeboatmen decided to take the lifeboat the 6 miles overland to Robin Hood's Bay and launch from there. No mean feat over very narrow roads and across moorland some 500 feet above sea level in drifting snow up to 7 feet deep in places.
About 60 Whitby men were given shovels and began digging to clear the snow from the roads. Horses were hitched to the lifeboat carriage and the "Robert Whitworth" set out on her journey. Eventually some 200 men joined in the snow clearance work. Additional horses were obtained from farmers on the way, eventually numbering 18. Men from Robin Hood's Bay started from their end clearing the snow and after 2 hours the lifeboat descended the very steep hill into the village.
The crew of the lifeboat had been involved in the digging but, tired though they were, they then manned the boat and set out to rescue the stranded sailors. Before they could reach them 6 of the boat's oars and the stearing oar were smashed by a heavy wave and they had to return to shore. Whilst the oars were being replaced Cox Henry Freeman asked for volunteers to double bank the oars and the lifeboat set out with 18 men on board and after an hour and a half managed to reach the sailors in the small boat, landing them at Robin Hood's Bay at 4pm. The six rescued crew members (from the Whitby Brig "Visitor") all needed medical attention as did some of the lifeboat crew.
Now that's what I call getting to work in adverse weather.
I hope Boris Johnson gets to read this.
Source: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jackie_sanders/lifeboat.htm

Winter Wonder? Land...

So we had a bit of snow yesterday and London came to a halt. Why? I noticed on the news that people couldn't get to work but had no problem getting to the park with the kids. One woman was going on about how difficult it was on the roads while standing next to a road with free moving traffic.
The M25 was a car park, nothing new there then.
Buses couldn't move in the city but the drivers throwing snowballs at each other (and the news crew) seemed to have no problem getting to work. In fact the news crews were all over the place reporting how bad conditions were so they didn't have any problems.
we knew this weather was coming a week ago but London has shown us up again, can't wait for the Olympics.
Maybe the traffic chaos was caused by people having trouble with their Chelsea Tractors (4x4's) being fitted with road tyres and then expecting to drive as normal. Let's face it London is not a particularly hilly place now is it.
I'm sorry Boris but you let the country down by being ill prepared for something we knew was going to happen. You and all those skiving southern softies who sneaked a day off.
On a sadder note, two brothers died on Crib Goch in Snowdonia the other day. I know this place and it is a very dangerous ridge even in good conditions. I feel sorry for the family's loss but they were ill advised to attempt this journey given the weather warnings.