More snow for London

If anyone thought London had got off lightly with the snow, they would have been disappointed this morning to find that it had snowed again overnight. In fact some more flakes fell during the day. Comfortable as I was at home in the warm with tea and coffee on tap, I thought I really ought to go out and experience it for myself. Am I a glutton for punishment, or what?🙂

Looking down St John Street from the Angel crossroads
Looking down St John Street from the Angel crossroads

I first went to the Angel crossroads which is such an important junction that if the weather were causing any problems they would be obvious here. I found that the road had been cleared by the wheels of the traffic, though snowed lingered on the pavements, despite the large number of passers-by, and had even been trodden into a hard crust of ice in many places.

The Angel clock with a cap of snow
The Angel clock with a cap of snow

I paid a visit to an old friend, the Angel clock on its triangle at the meeting of Goswell Road and City Road. It was now telling the correct time (they had never changed it to reflect summer time) and looked quite happy with its cap of snow.

Claremont Square and its reservoir
Claremont Square and its reservoir

By now I felt like looking for some “proper snow” and thought I knew where to find it, in Claremont Square. Separated from the main road only by a closed off street, the square is a relatively quiet backwater. Most London squares have a park or garden at the centre. Claremont Square is unusual in having a reservoir.

A glimpse inside the reservoir
A glimpse inside the reservoir

Being in town, it’s a covered reservoir of course, but people are not allowed inside the stout iron railings. (I poked the camera through for the above picture.) So it has become something of a haven for wild life, including squirrels, wood pigeons and other birds.

The quiet street behind the reservoir
The quiet street behind the reservoir

Hidden from the main road by the reservoir, this part of the square forms a quiet street. The pavements were thick with snow here and most of the cars had not moved since the overnight fall, though patches clear of snow showed that some had been driven away.

No snow on the coal hole
No snow on the coal hole

The houses here go back to the Victorian or even the Georgian era and in front of each is a round iron lid covering the “coal hole” where coal merchants would tip their latest delivery into the bunker underneath the pavement. These bunkers are now used for storage and I noticed that each iron roundel was clear: the metal conducted the warmth up from below and melted the snow.

The deserted playground
The deserted playground

The children’s playground next to St Mark’s church was, unsurprisingly, deserted. In the park next to it, there were only two people, one a dog walker, but…

Only two people in the park
Only two people in the park

… by the time I entered the park, even they had disappeared and it was empty.

The park, empty again
The park, empty again

I think the snow-covered benches told the story quite eloquently enough.

Snow-covered bench
Snow-covered bench

It was very quiet. I saw no squirrels and no birds; no one in the park or in Myddelton Square of which it forms the centre. Except for the postman. The postman was out and about lending a touch of normality to the scene.

The postman on his round
The postman on his round

Otherwise, as in Claremont Square, so here in Myddelton Square, with its row of hibernating cars.

Hibernating cars in Myddelton Square
Hibernating cars in Myddelton Square

The snow on the cars was so pristine and unblemished that the idea of disturbing it seemed almost sacrilegious.

Cars and their pristine covering of snow
Cars and their pristine covering of snow

To handle the camera, I wear gloves that open to  free my fingers. By now my hands were so cold that they were hurting and my fingers were too numb to operate the fastener on the camera pouch. I had to keep stopping the blow on my hands to get the feeling back. I think for Christmas I am going to buy myself a pair of battery-heated gloves!

St Mark's Church clock
St Mark’s Church clock

I did notice one thing that pleased me, however. Since I last wrote about the “timeless clock” of St Mark’s, it has been repaired and is now working. That was something I did not expect and it cheered me quite a bit. As you know, I love clocks and hate to see a dead one.

Main road traffic: the same as usual
Main road traffic: the same as usual

Back on the main road, the traffic looked much the same as usual. Ignore the crust of icy snow on the pavement and it could almost be a typical weekday on Pentonville Road.

As for me, I was only too happy to go indoors and warm the feeling back into my numb fingers! Summer cannot come quickly enough for me.

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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13 Responses to More snow for London

  1. WOL says:

    I lift my mug of hot chai tea with almond milk in salute to your winter photographic efforts. I appreciate clocks too. I inherited one from next door that was inoperative http://grundlepod.blogspot.com/2010/01/plongs-in-office.html It evokes memories of home as it plongs out the hours and quarter hours.

    • SilverTiger says:

      I have visited that post and left a comment. If I had money to spare, I would probably fill the place with clocks, mostly antiques.

      The simplification of clock movements has made clocks cheaper but also less beautiful. The old craftsmen had an artistic taste to go with their technical expertise. Today, anyone can put a cheap movement into any sort of badly design case and charge a fortune for it.

  2. Villager says:

    Great pictures.

    Try not to slip, and stay warm !

    • SilverTiger says:

      Thank you, I’m like you liked the pictures.

      As for keeping warm, yes, indeed, that’s a major preoccupation in what has been described as the coldest winter for 20 years.

  3. stuartl says:

    Snow !! That’s not snow just a heavy frost, we’ve got 12 inches in Sheffield !

    • SilverTiger says:

      I believe you: I lived in Sheffield for 6 happy years and experienced some heavy winters.

      Even this amount of snow is fairly rare for London and it is colder than it has been for a long time.

  4. stuartl says:

    Some pictures here, heaviest snow since 1958 according to Weston Park

  5. AEJ says:

    Have a cup of hot cocoa! I hear you’ve sent us snow our way. North Carolina is not used to winter weather and everything shuts down at even a hint of possible snow. I’m sure this time will be no different! There will be no milk, bread, or eggs left at the grocery store on Saturday!

    • SilverTiger says:

      Tea and coffee are my preferred tipple. I don’t much mind where the snow goes as long as it goes from here.

      It seems that very few communities are ready to deal with snow. It seems to cause disruption whether or not it is usual in that location.

  6. Toby says:

    Please accept a pedantic correction: it’s MyddELton Square not MyddLEton, which might confuse search engines.
    [Named for Sir Hugh Myddelton whose New River flowed from Gt Amwell Herts to a reservoir at New River Head from 1613. The Claremont Square reservoir, which is on the site of the Fort Royal one of London’s civil war fortifications, was added as an open reservoir in 1708 to give a better head of water to the system. It was covered in the 1850s.]

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