HUCKNALL froze beneath the areas’s heaviest snowfall as Siberian weather conditions swept the country this week.
Nine centimetres was recorded and the town blanketed, with strong winds seeing drifts of up to seven inches in parts.
Schools were closed and gritters out in force, with drivers being extra cautious and making only essential journeys due to an amber weather warning from the Met Office.
Thick snow and hazardous icy conditions saw dozens of schools across the county close to pupils on Monday, with many appealing to staff living locally to turn up and help clear playgrounds and access roads.
Improved conditions overnight on Monday meant many schools re-opened on Tuesday, although Hucknall’s Annie Holgate Junior School remained closed due to heating problems.
As the community stoked the fires, turned up the heating and prepared to batton down the hatches on Friday, supermarkets reported ‘Christmas-like’ trade and panic-buying as shelves were stripped of essentials such as bread, milk, potatoes and and fresh vegetables by lunchtime. By evening the shops were silent.
Jayne Walker, deputy manager of Tesco Extra on Annesley Road in Hucknall, reported a distinct difference in trade patterns early on Friday.
She said: “Anyone would have thought we were closing for the month! There was a degree of bulk buying as customers sought to stock up on bread, milk and fresh produce in anticipation of the snow. By evening, it was very quite as I don’t think people dare venture out.”
As flakes the size of 50 pence pieces fell, the area’s roads were gridlocked as people rushed to leave work at the same time - with many firms initiating ‘snow plans’ to enable employees to work from home.
Local farmers with tractors were called upon to assist in clearing car parks and towing stranded motorists.
And while the roads were a nightmare for drivers, the arctic conditions proved perfect for youngsters and the young at heart - who took full advantage of the big freeze.
Slegdes, toboggans and even skis replaced cars as snow-lovers revelled in a winter wonderland, building snowmen, ice sculptures and igloos.
The white out is expected to continue over the weekend, with temperatures set to plummet as low as -9c and further light snow flurries likely before the snow sets in.