Blighty's Blog climate change expert S. Keptic filed a story with our downtown Orangeville head office this week about why it took 24 hours to clear 10cm of snow from the runway at London's Heathrow airport. Of course a light dusting like that would have taken a conga line of snow plows only minutes to remove on the Canadian side of the pond, but here is Keptic's unbelievable story of what happened at Heathrow.
But next morning, at the crack of half past nine, he was on his way. Meanwhile, in central London a high level delegation was meeting to discuss the carbon footprint created by driving a big diesel lorry with a giant three feet wide shovel all the way to London. By late evening the bureaucrats had decided to send the matter for review by a Commons Select Committee and adjourned to licensed premises for refreshments.
By five o'clock in the afternoon the snow plow driver decided it was time to knock off for the day. He pulled into a parking lot outside a pub near Birmingham and popped in for a pie and a swift half. Anxious officials in London made frantic phone calls to authorize enough overtime for the driver to complete his journey but it was too late, the driver had already ordered his tenth "swift half" and was performing a duet of "Flower of Scotland" with a fellow from Glasgow he had met in the bar.
But, a replacement driver was found and, twenty three hours after departing from the north of Scotland, the plough arrived ... at Gatwick. The snow plow drivers union blamed management for the cock-up and management responded by locking out the union workers.
Meanwhile, back at London's Heathrow Airport, a jet full of ladies from the Whopping Lye Women's Institute were awaiting take-off for their annual Christmas duty-free shopping trip and general knees-up in Benidorm. Mrs Willis was the first to jump up when she heard the captain's announcement about the snow delay.
"Come on girls" she called and within two minutes seventy six women had donned headscarves, tucked a ciggy in the corner of their mouths, grabbed brooms and were industriously clearing the runway.
Footnote: Embarrassed officials at London's Meteorological Office have blamed "warm snow" for the travel disruption throughout Britain. A spokesman interviewed in the snug at the Red Lion next door to the Met Office was quoted saying that climate change will result in increasing amounts of warm snow falling on the United Queendom over the next few years.