Heroes pull out stops to keep Gwent moving
2:50pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
FROM head teacher taxi services to camping hospital chefs, Gwent’s communities pulled together to make sure life went on as normally as possible as nine inches of snow fell.
In Monmouthshire, Head teacher Graham Murphy of Archbishop Rowan Williams primary school in Chepstow went round in his 4x4 picking up staff to make sure the school was open.
It was one of few Gwent schools open and pupils had lessons in the snow after braving the elements to attend today.
Mr Murphy said: "We have a lot of parents who are essential workers, so decided we would open for their sake."
They made the most of the conditions, having playtime and some lessons in the school’s forest school while enjoying cups of hot chocolate.
Due to the lack of buses and wanting to get pupils home safely to their parents, it closed at 12.30pm.
Valiant hotel services supervisors and chefs Ysbyty Ystard Fawr, Ystrad Mynach, decided to channel their inner Bear Grylls and sacrificed a night in a warm comfy bed to camp out at the hospital through the weekend to make sure patients will get meals and other services they need.
The 269 bed hospital saw a shortage of porters today which meant nurses stepped in to fill the void.
At Wales’ newest school, Llanwern High school in Newport, pupils braved the early morning blizzard to make it in for their English Literature A-Level exam.
Pupil Sean Oldfield, 17 from Beechwood, one was one of many pupils across the region who trudged in through the snow to sit their exams.
He, said: "I got up earlier than usual because normally I get lift but I couldn’t do that with the snow.
"I didn’t know whether the buses would be running or not so in the end I just walked from Beechwood.
"I got absolutely soaked. I had wet feet all the way through my exam. At least it seemed to go quite well," he said.
Back in Monmouthshire youth service staff and young people were out and about clearing pathways for residential care homes, and in Blaenavon, town councillor, Janet Jones, from Foy Williams Estate agents, praised the town’s traders for getting essential businesses open.
Meals on wheels teams across Gwent battled through to make sure residents got their food, with services in Blaenau Gwent using 4x4s to make sure they got there, while Torfaen’s street teams were delighted that Albies all weather burger van lived up to his name and battled in to Pontypool from Abersychan so the boys could fuel up with sausage sandwiches for their gritting trip down to Cwmbran.
Perhaps the hardiest of the lot though were three drivers from Night Freight on Cardiff Road, Newport who were yomping back to Caerphilly.