As many Natives worldwide will know, Whitstable
was hit by a snowstorm during the early afternoon of Saturday 18
December. With early weather forecasts suggesting a day of snow
showers, it caught many people "off guard" - including
me!!! I arrived at Tesco in reasonable weather around 1 pm... and
came out to a carpet of snow amounting to some 3-4 inches. It then
took over an hour to escape the shop car park!!!!!
It would have been a time to settle down in front of the TV...
had it not been for the constant reminders of England's cricket
collapse in Western Australia. So, to escape it all, I ventured
out from 8.00 pm -10.30 pm to photograph some very rare
scenes..... Whitstable... in snow... at Christmas... at night. The
results are shown below....
1-2: Harbour Street
Above and Below: It is
unusual for snow to remain on the ground in the town
centre for very long. However, such was the amount and
temperatures involved, picturesque scenes could be
captured well into the evening. Of course, Dickensian
Harbour Street was a photographers dream in these
3-5: Harbour Street
Above & Below: The wider
section of Harbour Street.
|Below: Financial cutbacks have affected the
town's Christmas decorations this year. As a result, there
are no additional lights and some old favourites have
disappeared. Of course, Whitstable youngsters are nothing
if not resourceful and a pair of plimsolls now occupies
the wire that once powered a magnificent blue
6-8: High Street
Above: The Duke of Cumberland
from High Street
Below: High Street looking
towards Oxford Street from the Ship Centurion
|Below: The Christmas tree at St Alphege
9-11: Oxford Street
Above: The Christmas tree at St
Mary's Parish Hall. Whitstable may be "Dickensian"
but the Parish Hall is pure "Disney". Even at my age, I half expect
those doors to open and release characters such as Dopey,
Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful, Doc and Noel Edmonds. ;-)
tree may not be the biggest in town... BUT, covered in real
snow, it is arguably the best. The lights seem to gradually
change colour. As you can see here, the bulbs at the tip are
Above: Oxford Street looking
south with the cenotaph on the left.
Below: Oxford Street looking north with the
library, cenotaph and Coach Horses pub on the right.
12-13: The Harbour
|Above: The snowfall was accompanied by driving
winds and sub zero temperatures. Thus, flakes
adhered themselves to vertical surfaces like limpets. The
black weatherboarding on the front of the fisherman's
stores at the West Quay took on a white
Below: This shot may just look picturesque
but there is something else to marvel at in this scene.
Notice that the water has a "porridgy" look
about it. Now, take a closer look at the
foreground. It looks as if icy sheets are forming on the surface. Yes....
the harbour may be showing signs of freezing over.
14-15: Starvation Point
Above: Starvation point from
the harbour's west gate.
Below: The Quayside pub
and the entrance to Woodlawn Street.
16-18: Tower Hill
|Above: Away from the town centre, the area
retained its 4 inch covering. Tower Hill was, to say the
least, precarious for vehicles.
Below: Lower section of Tower
16-18: Castle Gatehouse
Above: The Castle Gatehouse
from Tower Hill
Below: The Castle
Gatehouse from Tower Parade
19-20: The Castle - Main Gate
Above: At the top of Tower Hill,
the Castle's main entrance was enhanced by Christmas
lights strung from one of the ground's permanent conifiers.
Below: Christmas lights and the
rose garden. The town's streetlights reflected off the
snow to give the sky an eerie orange glow.
21-22: The Castle - East and South Fascias
Above: The castle's east fascia
from the rose garden
Below: The south fascia showing
the new Orangery extension and the coloured floodlighting
of the west wall.
23-24: The Castle Garden
|Above and Below: Scenes from the
25-26: Castle - The West Fascia
Above and Below:
Effects of the blue floodlighting on the western