When the snow in South Shields was deep and crisp and even

Snow on the Cleadon Hills.
Snow on the Cleadon Hills.
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Sifting through the Shields Gazette picture archive the other day, I came across this wonderfully seasonal photo which I now want to share with you.

It was taken on the Cleadon Hills, though there is no date on the back of the print. And to me it is a real picture postcard-type image of Christmas, and more generally, winter-time.

To me, it brings to mind a scene from Wuthering Heights, perhaps depicting Catherine walking across the snow-clad moors looking for her beloved Healthcliff. Mind you, my colleague thought it was more like something from Tolkein’s Middle Earth.

What is not in doubt, is the fact that it portrays the beauty of the hills when covered in deep snow. When was the last time you remember a scene like this? Also, can you identify the woman making her way through the snow-drift?

It seems unlikely that we will see any snow this Christmas-time, which is a blessing for motorists and those travelling further afield. But there will be those who would love to see a dusting of the white stuff, just to give Christmas a traditionally seasonal look.

Snowballing, kids on sledges, and cold feet in wellies were just some of the ‘joys’ to look forward too when winter arrived in not-too-distant years gone by.

There was no question of whether it would snow, it was just when and how deep?

How many times did you look out of the window to see the grey landscape gradually disappear beneath a blanket of whiteness?

And who could stop you pulling on the aforementioned wellies, scarf, coat and balaclava helmet?

Woolly gloves were also donned, but quickly discarded as they soon got wet when rolling snowballs or building snowmen.

We all know about global warming, and the subsequent milder winters. Yet (despite the trouble it causes to transport) it seems a shame that the youngsters of today are missing out on such seasonal fun and games.

What did you get up to in the snow and ice when you were a lad or a lass?

How many of you, with the help of your mates, would shovel snow into huge piles in order to construct an impromptu iglooo? Or perhaps you would take off the surface snow and stamp down the rest, before rubbing it smooth with the soles of your wellies in order to create your own slide.

Christmas cards are still awash with snowy scenes, and there is no doubt that they do look scenic, so maybe we should content ourselves with staring at such once familiar images.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the picture of the Cleadon Hills when the surface underfoot was – crisp and deep and even!