The Kindness of Strangers

18 Dec 15

There are moments when something good happens and you remember that people are mostly just genuinely nice and kind.

I went over to Barnard Castle on Saturday and at about 11.20 am it started snowing.  There wasn’t a huge amount, but it was falling quickly and I decided that it might be a good idea to start heading home, and thought the safest way would be to head out on the north side and get to the A67.  Very quickly I found out that not only was no traffic moving but also my van didn’t like the icy conditions. 

I decided it was best to keep going and tried to drive down a slight bank and found that my brakes didn’t seem to work.  A bit scary so I proceeded at about 3 mph.  Also no matter how much I put my steering wheel straight, or even on a hard lock to the right, I just seems to drift left.  I skidded my way to the bottom and was about to try and drive out of town on the A67 when in the entrance to a cafe my daughter noticed an elderly lady who was looking scared.  People were already slipping and sliding all over the pavement.  We had a brief chat and agreed that the right thing to do would be to stop and offer her a lift or at least an arm to lean on.  I parked in a spot that I thought I could get out of, Carys ran across the road to check, and then came back saying she had called a family member who was going to come and get her.

And then the fun started.  I couldn’t move.  Every time I tried to drive straight the wheels of my van spun out from underneath me.  I couldn’t try and move when anyone was near just in case I lost control.  Nearly an hour later I was still there, in virtually the same spot, but reversing and then trying to get a run at moving along the road. 

Luckily I was on a side street so not blocking everyone.  But this is where people came to help.  One man even went to look for a tow rope so that he could pull me out.  At least ten people stopped to help push the van out.  In the end they used the ice to spin me totally around the other way so that I could go out the way I came. 

What is nice is that they didn’t have to do it, they could have walked past. A whole group of people appeared to just be walking back and fore trying to help others. 

Thank you.