Day: May 6, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Weather

This is the 18th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 18 – Weather.

Living in the UK I think that we have fairly “normal” weather. We don’t have any real extremes although we do have the occasional localised flooding, heavy snowfalls and very hot and dry spells (which we have just had – certainly in Yorkshire).

When I was a child I remember my mother being particularly afraid of thunder and lightening. We haven’t really talked about this but I do wonder if it’s because my dad was struck by lightening when he was a young man. Whenever there was a thunderstorm my mum would often take us to sit at the top of the cellar steps to keep us out of harms way. Today, however, I love a good old storm with thunder and lightening. Jayne and I  turn the lights out and watch the storm from the landing window or any other good vantage point.

My two most favourite seasons are summer and winter. I think that I can sometimes fall into the trap of believing that the summers and winters of my childhood were better than now. That is perhaps just a myth and I suspect wouldn’t stand up to proper analysis – which I’m not going to do.

But what do I mean when I say that. Well people can often be heard suggesting that the summers in the 1950’s and 1960’s were much warmer. And that in winter the snow was around for much longer and it was deeper.

We haven’t had a summer hosepipe ban for a good few years in my part of the UK and I can only recall two occasions when I haven’t been able to get to work because of the snow – one of these was just this last winter. When we’ve had public transport disruption because of snow in recent years Jayne has trudged into work on foot – a journey of about five miles. But these times are few and far between.

Although not specifically weather related I wanted to mention one other phenomena – smog. Growing up in a northern industrial city this was a regular occurrence in the 1960’s. Sometimes you could hardly see your hand in front of your face.

Here’s a couple of photographs of the snow from this last winter.

Frozen Canal

Leeds City Centre