The snow which has dropped in to Petersfield is also expected to bring with it another windfall: increased tourism.
Travel agents in Russia, Canada, Scandinavia and certain areas of the USA have already reported an upsurge in tourists’ interest in visiting the small Hampshire market town.
Olly Day, a travel agent based in Quebec, confirmed: “We’d never heard of Petersfield until the last 24 hours – yet dozens of people have been in to see if they can visit. They want to come over to your country and laugh at you for not being able to cope with six inches of snow.”
Lafmi Arsov, a student from Moscow, explained: “I want to visit this silly little place where one day’s snow can prevent so many people from living their normal lives. I wish to stand alongside a sign which acknowledges the twin towns of Barentin and Warendorf and have my picture taking while pointing and laughing.”
While many are prepared to ridicule Petersfield residents, the increased interest has been welcomed by some, according to the self-appointed spokesman for Petersfield retailers, Matt Tress.
“Anything that brings more people past my shop is welcome: snow, ridicule, police line-ups…,” he said. “People don’t realise how hard trading conditions are right now. Mind you my new Canadian travel agency is doing quite well.”