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25 July 2014
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Snowfalls

The recent fall of snow sent me off on a trip down memory lane.

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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.

No.1

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.

No. 2

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.

No.3

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 memory.

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 with it.

Editor's suggestions

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 out' .


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