Tuesday 5 January 2010

Cold enough for you?

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for us soft southerners - 
we can expect to see heavy snow, with strong winds. 
It will be bitterly cold with a severe frost tonight.

The River Thames froze nine times 
between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Dawk's Newsletter of January 14th, 1716, 
describes that winter's frost.

The Thames seems now a solid rock of ice, and booths for the sale of brandy, wine, ale and other exhilarating liquors, have been for sometime fixed thereon; but now it is in a manner like a town: thousands of people cross it, and with wonder view the mountainous heaps of water, that now lie congealed into ice. On Thursday, a great cook's shop was erected, and gentlemen went as frequently to dine there, as at any ordinary. Once over Westminster, Printing-presses are kept upon ice, where many persons have their names printed, to transmit the wonders of the season to posterity. Coaches, waggons, carts etc. were driven on it; and an enthusiastic preacher held forth to a motley congregation on the mighty waters with a zeal fiery enough to have thawed himself through the ice, had it been susceptible to religious warmth. This, with other pastimes and diversions, attracted the attention of many of the nobility, 
and brought the Prince of Wales to visit the Frost Fair.

Thomas Wyke - Thames Frost Fair

Now that's what I call cold
because I'm old enough to remember the winter of 1963.


  1. Enjoyed the excerpt from the newsletter ... stay warm!

  2. Pelee Island is about 14 kilometers from the mainland in Lake Erie. On rare occasions, history tells us, it freezes over completely so that vehicles from Leamington, Ontario may drive across. Interesting post!