EVERYONE is complaining how cold it is this winter, but it will have to go a long way yet to beat 1947 and 1963.
I don’t remember 1947, but I do remember 1963. The weather was so bad that Football League games were called off for weeks on end. The FA Cup final, always played on the first Saturday in May, was put back until May 25.
I was playing in the Mid Cheshire Junior League and I remember how fed up we all were when game after game was called off. We were so desperate we bought salt by the bagful to break up the ice in the goalmouths, but to no avail.
That year I had just started working in a little corner shop, which meant working on a Saturday. But, fortunately for me, I got an office job at Marley Tile just before the weather improved, so I didn’t miss any games. So, in a way, the cold snap did me a favour.
I don’t remember being fazed by the weather, personally. But I do remember my parents complaining bitterly that they could hardly get out as it was so icy, and older people must have died in their hundreds, perhaps thousands, as there was no central heating in most homes in those days.
In fact, most of us relied on a coal fire in the living room to warm the whole house and the water. There was little help from the government as there is now in way of fuel supplements for pensioners, so they must have had it really rough. But all I cared about was losing my sport on a Saturday.
I try to be more considerate now and I try to look out for people who might be having problems during this cold spell. But thank goodness we, as a community, look after our old people better than we did then and few need any help.
We should cherish our old people. They may be ordinary, but they have lived through extraordinary times and it is thanks to them and the sacrifices they made during the Second World War that we have the freedom we often take for granted today.
It maybe cold outside, but let’s make sure any pensioner we know is safe and snug inside. It’s the least we can do.