Walking in a Winter Wonderland Palatinate’s guide to icy Durham
by Ellie Ross
Although the snow looks like it’s melting, hazardous black ice and rogue patches of frost seem to lurk deep in the recesses of every Durham Street. With more below-freezing temperatures planned, it’s best to be prepared for navigating as painlessly as possible around one of the hilliest cities in the UK. Many of you will have chosen to stay in bed and wait for the thaw. For the rest of you, Palatinate brings you an update on which spots to avoid and how to prepare yourself for these icy conditions.
Kingsgate Bridge is a dangerous prospect. Carrying a laptop bag or a heavy handbag will make your imminent fall all the more painful as you swing, terrified, from side to side of the bridge wondering how the girl coming towards you wearing ballet pumps hasn’t careered over the edge yet. If Kingsgate Bridge is necessary to get to College/History Department/Tesco, Palatinate urges you to invest in some sort of crampon. That, or get your good social citizen hat on and start shovelling grit-salt over the pavements.
The number two icy spot in Durham is the bit just after the DSU. For all of you attempting to avoid the hazards of Kingsgate, the ‘DSU death slide’ as it is commonly dubbed round our way is treacherous. Worst of all, is how at lecture rush-hour vast swathes of people will be coming up the road ready to catch your comedy fall at the best angle on their camera phones. Palatinate has no advice for you when tackling the ‘pavement of tragedy’ (as it’s known locally) and can only promise you that we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you. Otherwise, start shovelling grit-salt.
Even the sportiest amongst us are not spared from the frost and ice. The riverside footpath on the opposite side of Castle’s boat house is a sluice towards the river. Yesterday, a poodle and owner dog meeting took place on the corner by the weir: the good students of Durham not only had to avoid certain calamity on the ice but also had to navigate around 50 pure-bred curly-haired dogs.
It is times like this we should listen to the poodle and owner dog advice group. ‘Always put on a coat when you go outside because they have very sensitive bodies ’ and ‘never let them go outside when they’ve just been bathed because their hair will freeze’-thank you to a Mr Hattersley of the poodle and owner pet group and stay safe on the ice, Durhamites.