The recent fall of snow sent me off
on a trip down memory lane. I started to think of the
heavy snowfalls of years ago and decided to tell you
of the ones which have stayed most clear in my memory.
The first one was when I was a small child attending
infant's school. My legs were too short for me to be
able to walk in the deep snow. Maybe it was not so very
deep perhaps it was that I was just too small. Anyway
it was not even considered that I should miss school
so off I went riding piggy back on my older brother's
shoulders. My brother would have been about fourteen
years old and was a very happy go lucky chap who made
everything seem like a game. After school he picked
me up and used the same form of transport to bring me
home. I think this memory stays so clearly fixed in
my mind because to me it was such great fun. I think
this would have taken place at the beginning of 1936.
The next heavy snowfall which sticks in my mind was
in February 1947. The reason I remember it so well is
that my grandfather died on the 24th which was my sister's
fifteenth birthday. Instead of a birthday celebration
there was a great deal of family consternation and anxiety
because burials could not take place in Carnmoney cemetry
where the family grave is. This was because the horses
which pulled the the hearses could not make it through
the snow on the steeply downhill road from Glengormley.
I cannot remember how long it was before burials recommenced
but I do remember that at one of the first funerals
to take place there was a serious accident on the way
down that road and the attending minister was so badly
injured he lost an arm. He was the minister at St. Pauls
church on York Road. I think his name was Rev'd. Linton.
Eventually my grandfather's funeral took place but my
sister's birthday was entirely forgotten.
My memory now takes me to the early 1960's. By this
time I was the young mother of a toddler who was totally
amazed and delighted that his whole world had been covered
in this wonderful white stuff that was ideal for digging.
Out went the small shovel from the companion set of
fire irons which sat in the hearth. This was promptly
lost in the deep snow. The tongs were then taken to
find the shovel, this was followed by the poker to find
the tongs. By the time I realised what was going on
I only had the brush of the set left. It was well over
a week before I saw them again.
I am sure there are many people out there who, for
different reasons, have memories of other snowfalls
but these are the ones which will always stay in my
Now I wonder if global warming means that my grandchildren
will never have a memory of really deep snow and the
sense of wonder, fun and sometimes hardship it brings
Jimmy Joe got out
his camera during the recent cold snap. See the results,
plus read his memories of the winter of 1975/76.
Read about Northern Ireland's recent 'white