A Letter from Nantwich

September 2009                              

What a summer

Dark clouds loom over a street scene in town

THERE must have been some red faces in the Meteorological Office after they issued the forecast that this summer was going to be a Barbecue Summer, hotter than usual.

   They should have stuck to their usual claim that it is impossible to forecast weather for more than five days ahead, and preferably no more than three.

   Their predictions built up hopes that this year we were not going to be facing yet another gloomy summer, and plans were made for Staycations - a newly-coined word, well abbreviation, meaning a stay-at-home vacation. Why pay good money to go abroad if you could get the same weather for a fraction of the price in familiar surroundings?

   True, the poor weather didn't centre on Nantwich. Much of the rest of the North West of England was faced with the same gloom. Meanwhile, the South East of England - around London and beyond - had sun on many days, when the clouds from across the Atlantic turned North East as they crossed the west coast of the UK.   

   Personally, I looked forward to days of sunshine that would enable me to shoot the second of a trilogy of videos about my home county. I should have known better. Instead, what we got were dull days that were the exact opposite of what was required.

   The picture at the top of the page was, admittedly, an extreme example of the weather we had, although it does correctly represent the ratio between dark rain clouds and sunny breaks.

   So that other "plague" - road works (above, right) in the town centre as the gas pipes needed attention - hardly seemed to matter. Strictly speaking, as the centre of Nantwich is pedestrianised, they are "pavement works".

   Not that it makes much difference as delivery lorries have to come through town to reach the shops in the absence of any access at the rear of the premises they are trying to reach.

   Just two years on from the last time (June 2007), we were faced with a dismal prospect of yellow barriers spoiling the view for tourists and residents alike.

   And restoration and improvement work at St Mary's Parish Church, also in the town centre, didn't help.

   At least that is now completed and the more usual pleasing aspect (left) has returned. 

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