The hammer of the north came down on Bloxwich on Friday as the UK was hit by massive snowfall, and Bloxwich was rapidly covered in a blanket of the white stuff.
And it was ‘”snow joke” when traffic slowed down to a crawl as it slipped and slided through the village, causing lengthy tailbacks at times, but Walsall Council had already gritted the main roads and parts of the High Street pavements so the village remained open for business, with shops ready to welcome customers, though libraries were obliged to close mid-afternoon as paths and side-roads became unsafe. Leamore and Blakenall Heath traders also mostly continued to serve their chilled-out customers despite a lack of pavement grit in places.
Notably, newly-relocated Bloxwich Hardware & DIY were well-prepared and ready to sell sledges and shovels to all from their new shop in the converted George pub on the corner of High Street and Elmore Row! Fork handles, anyone?
Most pubs including the historic Spotted Cow in Wolverhampton Road and the Prince of Wales in High Street were also open to offer a cosy fireside and warming drink – a fine old Bloxwich tradition! Park Road pub The Lady Diana looked particularly picturesque in drifted snow – though the scene highlighted Wetherspoon’s tardiness in getting the good old Bull’s Head rebuilt.
Sadly for those members of the public and bus drivers desperately needing a cold-weather pee, however, Walsall Council had gritted well all around Bloxwich Bogs but neglected to open them! On the up side, borough binmen worked hard for much of the day before heading back to base, a commendable effort.
For much of the day, bus services through Bloxwich were no more chaotic than usual on Friday (when was the last time you saw a bus turn up on time?) though vehicles were on a go-slow due to slippery conditions, especially in hilly areas and on bridged routes.
By lunchtime Friday near-blizzard conditions were evident, though this was no deterrent to Bloxwich Telegraph editor Stuart Williams who braved the stormy blast in his lunch hour to get the pictures shown here and in our Snowy Bloxwich Flickr album. Stuart also kept up the flow of relayed road and weather info from transport providers, Walsall Council, agencies and weather experts throughout the day on the Telegraph’s Twitter account: http://twitter.com/BloxTelegraph
Picturesque parks and playing fields were, remarkably, all open as usual on Friday, delighting hardy walkers and families with sledges for the youngsters. Snow in the parks had reached a depth of 4-6 inches by lunchtime, with drifting to as much as ten inches in places in the area. Dogs were in their element, with many seen bouncing about having walkies fun in the flakes. At Wallington Heath the pool was frozen hard, presenting a pretty but Siberian scene.
As a precautionary measure, bus services on National Express routes shut up shop at 7pm, and the arctic night fell until morning.
By Saturday, snowfall had largely ceased and main roads were clearer than the day before, with buses actually running on time, something rarely seen in Bloxwich in good weather! The situation is much the same today, Sunday – though it’s expected that there will be further snowfall this afternoon and evening, so get your shovels ready!
Check out our Snowy Bloxwich Flickr album from Friday via this link for more pictures and panoramas!