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Snow Laughing Matter

by Gerry Lynch last modified 02 Mar, 2018 11:24 AM

Wilts village and church open their hearts and doors to stranded motorists

A Wiltshire vicar says she is “immensely proud” of her parishioners who stepped up to lend a helping hand to motorists stranded in the snow on the main Salisbury to Swindon road yesterday.

The Revd Jo Reid, Team Vicar in the Savernake benefice, went out to see if she could help motorists stranded in the heavy snow on the A338 which runs through the village of Collingbourne Ducis, where she lives.

“The road makes two sharp bends through the village and lorries, in particular, were getting stranded on them in the heavy snow. A local farmer was already helping tow vehicles up the steep hill that runs out of the village towards Tidworth, but it was a slow process and traffic was gridlocked for hours.

“We decided to open the church as a place where people could at least wait in the warm and get a hot drink, and also directed people to local pubs and B and Bs. Some people were trying to make long journeys, as far as Southampton and South Wales, which was going to be impossible in the horrendous conditions.

“Other people were stranded closer to home, especially soldiers trying to get back to barracks around Tidworth, but needed somewhere to be warm and comfortable until conditions improved. Some even braved that three mile journey on foot!

“The local pub, the Tipple Inn, stayed open all night for drivers who had to abandon their cars. I then rang round parishioners late in the evening, knowing it was a big ask, for people who needed a proper bed to sleep in and people responded generously. We walked people through the icy streets to where they were staying before I managed to get to the Tipple myself around 11 o’clock!

“It looks very pretty this morning but yesterday saw lot of tears, concern, and worry.

“I am immensely proud of my parishioners. To the people of Collingbourne Ducis – you are absolutely the best!”

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