Well the snow yesterday jumped up and bit us in its severity, typical off me for saying the snow doesn't fade us - I knew after writing these words it would come back to bite me.
Bob one of our drivers who has over thirty years experience in the fireplace trade was on his way to south east London and Croydon before going on to Kent yesterday (30th November). All was going to schedule until he got on the A23 heading to towards Croydon, the road was just at a stand still no chance of escaping using side road's due to all the snow and ice so Bob was stuck on the road and had to follow the road with all the other unfortunate drivers. Hour upon hour he just had to go with the flow travelling a few feet at a time, Bob just had one thing in his mind, to get to the customers - by this time he only had two customers left to deliver to. With nowhere to escape and traffic nose to tail with exhaust smoke filling the air behind brake lights flashing on and off as the drivers glum faces peering from behind cold steamed up glass windows.
Bob eventual got to within half a mile of the customer in Croydon at 11.30 pm but now he was faced with a steep hill and with all the snow and ice he decided to park the van up and not risk driving to the customer. This customer was just having a hearth delivered so Bob decided to deliver this hearth by hand, amazingly he walked this hearth half a mile to the customers house. He arrived just after midnight, the customer checked the hearth and thanked Bob for the delivery albeit a bit late at night. Bob got back to his Van, with a load of blankets from the back he swaddled himself up in the freezing cab, trying to escape the cold and get a couple of hours sleep before heading to the next customer.
Bob was awoken this morning by a local chap trying to get his car started in front of Bob's van. Bob being the type of person he is, helped the man with his car. After this chap had been pushed off Bob decided enough is enough and off he went to the next customer in Kent. He eventually arrived at the customers house at 4.30am, not wishing to knock this customer up at this unearthly hour he decided to have a few more hours sleep in the van outside this customers house. At around 7.30am the customer let Bob in with a smile and Bob delivered their chosen fireplace. Bob would like to say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Baxter for their really warm welcome and hospitality and especially for the turkey salad sandwiches which Bob says went down really well.
Now Poor Bob's woes haven't ended yet I am afraid, as I am writing this little blog, Bob is trying to get home from his terrible ordeal yesterday. He is now stuck in traffic again on the M25 at Dartford tunnel for the past two and a half hours.
Delivering fireplaces can be a great rewarding time or an awful time like Bob is experiencing yesterday and today a big thank you Bob for what you have done, definitely beyond the call of duty.