Scotland’s weather: Scots pull together to help defeat the Beast

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Charity volunteers handed out bedding to stranded passengers last night while hotels offered rooms free of charge to those trapped by the blizzard.

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As the cold snap dubbed the “Beast from the East” continued to wreak havoc across the country, emergency responders from the British Red Cross were on hand to supply blankets for around 100 people at Glasgow Airport after flights were cancelled.

The volunteers faced white-out conditions as they took sleeping bags, mats and blankets to the airport in specially equipped 4x4 vehicles.

Elsewhere, around 60 emergency response volunteers were on standby to help vulnerable people and make sure they had everything they needed to withstand the freezing weather.

In the north of the country, power companies put the Red Cross on alert to carry out checks on vulnerable customers in the event of power cuts caused by the snow.

Snow Plough working hard to keep the A68 at Soutra Hill open during blizzard conditions.'Picture: Ian Rutherford

Snow Plough working hard to keep the A68 at Soutra Hill open during blizzard conditions.'Picture: Ian Rutherford

Red Cross senior emergency response officer Nick Mort said: “The Red Cross has vast experience of responding to all sorts of emergencies and our highly trained volunteers staff and shave the skills to help people who need it.

“At the moment our teams throughout Scotland are on standby but their equipment and vehicles have all been prepared, ready to go wherever they are needed.”

Guests at Stobo Castle, a spa resort in the Borders, were invited to spend a night free of charge amid concerns about travelling in heavy snow.

Rather than leave departing guests to brave the conditions and treacherous roads, the five-star venue invited all its guests in the 52-room hotel to stay for as long as it takes for the snow storms to pass.

Jenni Watts, Stobo’s marketing director, said: “The safety of our guests always comes first and we are discouraging everyone from driving in these conditions.

“Each and every guest has been invited to stay with us, free of charge, and can continue to enjoy their break with us at no expense until it’s safe to travel.

“We’ve also reassured guests planning on staying with us over the coming days that they won’t lose their deposits and can re-book for a future date as we urge them not to travel until it’s safe to do so.”

On the Caledonian Sleeper between London and Edinburgh, travellers posted pictures of a snowman built inside the train.

According to an image on Twitter, the white-out led to substantial amounts of snow coming through the joints in the carriages and through gaps in the windows and doors.

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