21 January 2011

A Frozen River Thames?

For those of you who have not visited London, 
the River Thames cuts through London 
and is naturally an important part of London's social and economic history

Satellite Image of River Thames through London

Last month, the headlines read 'UK Experiences The Coldest December On Record' (here)
Could the River Thames actually freeze in London?

It probably wouldn't because 
it is deeper and faster since the old London Bridge was demolished in 1831

However, the river has frozen solid-ish for 24 winters since the 1400s
So it has happened

River Thames in 1950s [source]

Since 1608, 
Londoners held 'Frost Fairs' on the Thames ice to make the most of the cold, 
which included sport and commercial activity

Although the River Thames still freezes, 
it hasn't had a 'proper' deep freeze since 1814

Last 'Frost Fair' in 1814

The period from mid-14th century to the 19th century in Europe 
is called the 'Little Ice Age' due to the severity of the climate, 
especially the winters

So for those of you wondering, 
is there a difference between a damp cold and a dry cold? 
Nope - cold is cold 

Do we still get cracked knuckles and chapped lips even with the humidity? 

And I've learned that balaclava is not the same as baklava 
I could use a bit of both

I went online to buy my husband a snow shovel for Christmas 
I couldn't resist this two-for-one offer:  


Now that's funny :)

Hoping you are staying warm this weekend!


Raine and Sage said...

Your new header looks fantastic! So it's a bit nippy then Laura.. you'll need a hot cuppa and some baklava to remedy that.

Jane said...

Oh, my. And here we are with daylight savings and sunshine - it seems surreal! I loved the historical facts, yet again. You just have the knack, Laura And congrats on reaching the big one-oh-oh followers! Woo hoo! J x

Fiona said...

I've never even considered that the River Thames might freeze!
I love learning about this beautiful big world of ours through the eyes of the real geography teachers, those living and breathing it!

Make mine Mid-Century said...

So much I've just learned! You'll have to get yourself a horse now!

ladyliberty said...

I've wondered that myself about the Thames. What an amazing photo of the bike on the frozen river!

Robynne's Nest said...

Laura, I was dismayed last winter when the folks at hubby's work said we should both put shovels in our car just in case we slide off the road and have to dig ourselves out...I think the look of horror on my face said it all! At least your hubby can use his shovel if he steps in something disgusting! Robx

Emma said...

Very interesting post Laura, they were brave to hold fairs on top of the frozen river! Not sure if I would be willing to test exactly how frozen the river was.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

I have a 19th century London News and in that there are illustrations of the Frost Fair and also a terrible tragedy when the ice broke.

Jeanne said...

Great info here Laura! Loved that you went for the two for one shovel deal.
We have tried in vain to find/buy a snow shovel. We ordered ours on Amazon before Christmas but it was a no show. I would say you got lucky on this one. Good find!!

Jeanne xx

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

We just use a garden spade for a shovel....it doesn't really get deep enough to need to shovel....although this year was a bit of an exception.

Maybe that's why they went for this FAB combo idea. I'm trying hard to think of a third use for it......maybe as a li'l bird table?? OR a seesaw...with a few extra bits and pieces?!!