‘We’re fighting a losing battle’ are not the words you want to hear from your rescuers when you have been trapped in a snow drift for four hours with a 17-month-old baby.
But panic had already set in by that point last Saturday when we went out shopping and suddenly found ourselves stuck in the car in 4ft of snow that was getting deeper by the minute, as strong winds whipped up a blizzard.
It wasn’t snowing and the roads were clear, when we went into Wakefield, so we decided to attempt to take mum back to Emley.
We came to a standstill not far from Grange Moor at about 3pm on a road covered in snow.
My husband Stewart wanted to keep driving, but couldn’t because of a car in front that was already stuck.
Snow was blocking the road either side of us, and the wheels were just spinning, we were stuck fast.
At first we were all calm because we had been stuck in a smaller drift earlier, and freed in 20 minutes by locals with shovels.
But then minutes turned into hours and things got scary.
Locals tried to help, but no amount of pushing or shovelling was going to budge us this time.
Unsure who to call, I opted for the RAC and it was the right decision.
There were so many cars behind us, that Ben Percival from the breakdown service couldn’t get to us without help.
Luckily, friends Ben Harrison and Adam Hepworth, had been clearing the car park at a nearby pub in a JCB.
They stumbled across Ben from the RAC, who said he was trying to reach a lady with a baby.
As a team, they worked tirelessly to free up to 20 cars before they could get to us.
Luckily we had toys and food in the car for Jessica, but had it not been for breastfeeding, she could have dehydrated when she ran out of water. She had her snow suit on, but the rest of us did feel the cold, especially Stewart, who was out helping and not suitably dressed. He was shivering and his hands were purple.
The RAC man kept checking on us by phone, and local farmers also joined in the rescue effort with their tractors. Quad bikers Anthony Owens and friends, also grabbed shovels and ropes to help out.
By 8pm, they managed to create a layby that we could be pulled back into, so they could get around us.
It was dark by this point, so when I heard Ben with the JCB say they were fighting a losing battle with the snow blowing back over as fast as they were clearing it, I was petrified that we were going to end up sleeping in the car with no heating. Our petrol light had been on a while and little did I know until afterwards, that the JCB was running on fumes too.
But they kept on going and I have never been so grateful to a group of complete strangers in my life when we eventually got out the other side tired, cold and hungry.
Needless to say, the car will be packed with a flask, blankets and a shovel in future.
Thank heaven for community heroes!