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The rotten winter that was mentioned (1961-2) reminded me of two occasions at LHR.  The first was in November when we had a week of fog when absolutely no flights operated.  Hard to imagine these post clean air act days, is it? People were getting onto roundabouts and not being able to find their way off; motorcyclists using the white line as a guide and colliding as they met; and people hiring taxis only to have to walk in front to guide them!   On the final day of the fog (not that we knew it) a 748 from Leeds managed to find a runway to land on and, even more miraculously, managed to find the taxiways without straying onto the grass.  At the “gate” (really just some hard standing) we could hear it coming, but just couldn’t se it until it was about 8-10 metres away.  Back in the office a waiting Ambassador Captain said: “If he can get in, I can get out!” and proceeded to do so.  There were no other movements for another 4-5 hours. Makes you think.

Another occasion was when a locally based hostie decided to inspect the galley on an Ambassador that had been stranded on a remote area due to the snow (they had been banned from flying in snow since an accident involving the Manchester City football team).  That was OK, except when I drove out to the aircraft I inadvertently stopped on a metal grating which meant that, when it came to go back to the office, we suffered from wheelspin. A call to the office to bring out reinforcements; but what comes out? A wagon with no weight on the back. And where does he park? That’s right: on the metal grating!   What next? A passing BEA tractor was hailed with the response that he’d get some chains fitted first. The disaster struck –our hostie suddenly shot out and hailed the tractor who stopped. You can guess where! The driver then trudged off to his office to find a tractor with chains so that, eventually, we were all rescued. But the time that had gone by! I’m afraid that hostie was not flavour of the month for quite some time.

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