Friday, 8 January 2010

The Big Freeze

Temperatures in Wirral dropped to minus 6 overnight turning snow-covered roads into sheets of ice. The big freeze is the coldest weather seen for 28 years. All Wirral schools with the exception of New Brighton Primary School were closed for a second day. Arriva and other bus operators are running limited services today, with road inspections on-going should conditions worsen. Government Office North-West has now taken control of the regional salt supply to make sure that no local authorities actually run out.

Needless to say the freeze is resulting in appeals to the "Dunkirk Spirit" - a sure sign that folk are secretly enjoying all the fuss.

A mystery Good Samaritan flagged down an ambulance to help a mum who went into labour while stuck in the snow at a gridlocked Wirral motorway junction (Junction 3 of M53, down the road from us). Paramedics - who were transporting a man who'd had an asthma attack to Arrowe Park Hospital - helped Maria Hollis into the ambulance where she then gave birth to baby Maggie in front of her bemused fellow patient. Her fireman husband Kevin had set off from their home in Kinross Road, Wallasey, for the hospital at 2pm on Tuesday. But like hundreds of other motorists they found themselves trapped on junction three of the M53 just after leaving the motorway. Kevin immediately rang the hospital, where he was told he might have to deliver the child himself.

"Maria was on the back seat of the car, which was in the outside lane of the flyover," said Kevin, 31. "We were stuck and Maria really needed to push. Everybody around us was sat wondering what was happening.  I’d been on the phone for 45 minutes when I heard the ambulance sirens. We were frantic because it was having great difficult getting through the traffic. Then a man got out of his car and began to guide traffic out of the way to let the ambulance through. He was terrific. It turned out the ambulance already had a patient but the paramedics were amazing. They jumped out, put a blanket around Maria and then helped her into the ambulance. There was already a patient in there so I had to sit in the front seat. Then the patient got to witness the whole birth!" Added Kevin: "It was a bit scary obviously, but the paramedics were brilliant and we'd also like to thank the man who stopped the ambulance."

Mother and baby, Maggie, who arrived weighing 8lb 4oz, are fine and now back at home. Fortunately Kevin and Maria resisted relatives' suggestions to call the baby Snowdrop!!!

And may I say a  big thank you to Jo for taking me over to my hospital appointment in Liverpool yesterday.  it would have been impossible on public transport.  Even the main roads in Liverpool remain ungritted and frozen into icy ruts but Jo's excellent driving made it a comfortable and unexciting journey.


  1. Goodness me, Scriptor, I am staggered that GO-NW took over the handling of the grit - Needs to happen though!

    Snowed in here chez Fhina, and have been so, on and off since December 18th... This last week has been the worst, however... Incroyable! You take care on those slippery routes, Sir, and blessings to Madame of the Tea Ceremonies for her bravery in action! x

  2. John, your pictures look exactly like what I see out my window here today(they didn't call it "New England" for nothing)! Happy to hear you got to your doctor okay and that baby Maggie and her mom also made it through alright.

  3. It is cold here, but not near as cold as is there. I love the photos.

  4. great images and baby story....

    and hope you are keeping warm by that fire's hearth!!

  5. Looks pretty cold up there. We haven't got a temperature gauge, but we can see about 10 inches of snow on top of the car.
    David struggled on foot to the shop this morning, whether he can attempt the same tomorrow is doubtful. Very hilly around here in Hastings, so difficult walking about, but we won't starve though as we have plenty in stock in the cupboards really.
    Keep up the photo's.
    Love Granny

  6. many places are having unusual weather, snow, ice, bitter cold. glad you are handling it. love your photos, especially the last one. have a great weekend!!

  7. You're doing a great job of documenting the coldest weather in 28 years! Great photos again.

  8. Wow! The garden looks incredible! We had snow on the trees for a couple of hours on the 6th, but it soon fell off and melted. I don't think I've seen snow like that except for abroad.

    Hope you have food in the house and shops to get you through the cold period.

  9. Oh my! That is a wild story!!!
    Glad that you're safe and warm.

  10. If you would like a paragragh posted on TownBlogger about 'birds' send me an email and a photo if you would like one included. I'd like to put it up on Monday evening.

  11. John, yes I think we all secretly enjoy this weather.
    Don't know about Maggie or snowdrop. Good job it wasn't the Beckham's baby, poor mite would likely be called Gridlock.

  12. Quite a story. Don't you love how people show their best side when needed most?
    So glad you made it safely too.
    I love that last photo!


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