Gales blow in, but there’s camels too
Extreme weather may not have dampened shoppers’ Christmas sprit but it did cause chaos on the roads and railways yesterday.
Those travelling to work or trying to get home for Christmas were hit by the terrible conditions, with both rail and roads affected.
Speed restrictions were put in place on many of First Great Western’s lines, leading to long delays and crowded carriages.
Rail users heading to Bristol or London faced with hold-ups of more than an hour and the company has said that those with tickets for yesterday can use them today if they were unable to travel.
Roads around Swindon were also affected by the conditions with several trees blocking lanes around Wanborough.
Queen’s Drive was also hit by flooding and a lorry overturned on the A346 between Swindon and Marlborough.
Wroughton Library was forced to close after water leaked through the roof and left it without power.
Meanwhile, shoppers seeking refuge from the downpour in the Brunel Centre were in for a festive surprise when camels brought the Three Wise Men into town as the Bible Society hosted a performance of the nativity story.
Visitors to the Brunel also enjoyed listening to the Beatbox Vicar, Gavin Tyte, who rapped the nativity story.
Rachel Rounds, the head of media at the Bible Society, said: “Swindon Bible Society wanted to give something back to the people of Swindon and we hope that by sharing the story of Christmas we have done that.”
Tyrone Thornton, 26, from Rodbourne, braved the weather to finish off his Christmas shopping.
He said: “A dad’s got to do what a dad’s got to do.
“It was a bit different to see the camels and to have the nativity show.”
Each show ran for about eight minutes, featuring professional actors and real camels .
Brunel marketing manager Jane Stewart, said: “We’ve never done anything like this before so when Bible Society approached us we thought it was a great idea and a super way of reminding people what Christmas is all about.” The Met Office have said that everyone should see clear skies on either Christmas Eve or Day but the temperatures will be lower.