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Snow go as Swindon freezes
6:00pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
WHILE the town went into shutdown due to the snow, there was only one thing to do for those who could not get to school or work.
A host of business closed early and the majority of the town’s schools closed to pupils, which meant the town’s parks were packed with youngsters enjoying the weather.
The day began with just light flakes drifing across the town but as it wore on the snowfall became increasingly heavier.
A total of 54 schools in the area were forced to close to students and staff because of the snow-bound roads.
A handful did open to stage exams due to exam board regulations.
These included Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which hosted three A-level exams, New College and Bradon Forest School, which ran a GCSE Religious Studies exam, but staff said those who missed out will be re-entered into the exams in the summer.
Nationwide managed to keep customer services running and the Brunel Centre remained open but the Outlet Village closed early, as did the Link Centre.
Among those making the most of the weather was Claire Watts, 34, of Old Town, with her two children Max, seven, and Poppy, four, who had their two sledges in hand heading for Lawn.
She said: “This is great weather for the children and it doesn’t happen that often so it is nice to be able to come out and enjoy it.
“School was cancelled early so we left the car at home and are heading to Lawns to go sledging.”
Stephen Pope, 37, of The Lawns, was with his daughter Paige, 11, playing with snowballs.
He said: “The roads are awful, it doesn’t appear that many of them have been gritted, and I don’t know why because this had been coming all week.
“Because of that we have made the most of the day at home and have been building snowmen and playing with snowballs.
“It is nice for the children to enjoy it, that is what it is all about.”
Meanwhile, services at Great Western Hospital ran as normal with the majority of planned operations going ahead.
A spokesman for GWH said: “ Where we have had to cancel any operations we made contact with patients.”
A spokesman for Great Western Ambulance Service said it responded to six road traffic collisions in Swindon and between six and 10 falls in the snow.