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East End Snowmen Of Yesteryear

March 1, 2018
by the gentle author

While languishing in my bed with a chill these past few days, I have been watching the snow falling outside and recalling the transient souls of those long-gone East End snowmen of yesteryear that I was able immortalise with my camera

At first I came upon them in yards and gardens, but before long they were scattered all over the parks and open spaces, lonely sentinels with frozen smiles. Snowmen are short-lived beings and many of those I photographed were just completed, only to be destroyed shortly after my pictures were taken. Yet when I returned later, I often found they had been reconstructed, and – as others appeared in the vicinity and the creators sought to be distinctive – a strange kind of evolution was taking place.

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Snowfall at Bow Cemetery

28 Responses leave one →
  1. Lisa M permalink
    March 1, 2018

    These were thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Janet M permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Adorable! And I hope you feel better soon.

  3. March 1, 2018

    Great collection, nice to see so much fantasy at work. The dog is my fave. Valerie

  4. Jo Godfree permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Thank you for these – great pictures! I love the snowy dog. Hope you feel better soon.

  5. David Bishop permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Great post GA. Thank you ⛄️

  6. March 1, 2018

    Also lying in bed with a chill looking out the window at the snow flurries. And reading this simple little blog. Love the cat wth the bobble hat.

  7. Sue permalink
    March 1, 2018

    As I sit here in Somerset with a blizzard raging these (mainly) cheery souls have really made me smile.

  8. StephenJ permalink
    March 1, 2018


    Get well soon GA.

  9. Marcia Howard permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Wow, some great snowmen here! They’ve put a big smile on my face as I write from a totally snowbound Richmond in North Yorkshire.

  10. Nina Archer permalink
    March 1, 2018

    …. thanks for the snowmen – keep warm and get well soon ….

  11. Leana Pooley permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Seen en masse like this these snow creatures have great charm. I particularly like the little one sitting on the bench with things like ginger snaps coming out of its head. And I like the smiling dog and the rather slumped figure with delicately rouged cheeks. And that glum snowman with the leaf eyes and metal nose in front of the railings made me smile. I hope that you, Gentle Author, will be feeling less glum soon.

  12. Richard Pascoe permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Let me be the first to comment , wonderful creations all of them , they had me smiling to myself , especially the one with the Puppy !
    Thank you , from a soon to be white Pembrokeshire .

  13. pauline taylor permalink
    March 1, 2018

    A lovely collection of immortalized snowmen, all with a character of their own. I wonder how far back this custom goes?

    Get well soon GA.

  14. Sarah B Guest Perry permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Love a good snowman. No snow and no snowmen here but I can enjoy yours. Thank you!

  15. March 1, 2018

    How wonderful!? Each photo brought a smile, a guffaw, a memory, a quizzical “what….?”,
    and gratitude that these temporary frozen personas were memorialized.
    Surely, this is an endearing form of folk art.
    As we prepare for more snow in the Hudson Valley, I am curious: When and where did the
    idea of snowmen originate?

  16. March 1, 2018

    A great range of snowy folks and other creatures. I hope you recover from your chill quickly.

  17. Jill permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Highlight of the morning, thank you for sharing!

  18. Alice W permalink
    March 1, 2018

    GA– thank you for the rousing good cheer…At first puzzled, then giggling, then just laughing my way through the photos, one after another, so charming, so unique, so momentary….and realizing that there you were, eyes wide open, and perhaps many years later sharing with us. I just loved the photos and
    the window you lifted on the semi-familiar yet amazing imagination of people at play.!

  19. March 1, 2018

    Dear G.A., What a testament to human spirit and creativity! I’m so glad you captured these and shared them with us. I live in New England, where we get more snow than anyone could possibly want (or at times endure) and I haven’t made a snowman, nor seen one of the evasive creatures, in years…!

    I hope you are feeling well again. Best wishes.

  20. Helen Breen permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, what fun. Obviously some folks just decided to create a snowman and use materials on hand. Others, I guess, thought ahead and brought a carrot from home to add a “real nose.” I particularly liked the “dog” (?) with the offspring in tow.

    These ephemeral creations do add joy to a winter landscape…

  21. Paulne permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Fantastic -the great British public have done themselves proud -so many lovely characters -made me smile.Thank you !

  22. March 1, 2018

    This brings Joy in ones Everyday Life …! — I had some Snowmen in my own neighbourhood some days ago.

    Best wishes and get well soon!

    Love & Peace

  23. Debra Matheney permalink
    March 1, 2018

    Charming! I live in a place in California where it rarely snows. It did around 20 years ago and someone in my neighborhood built a beach chair out of snow and topped it with a real beach umbrella.
    Take care and feel better.

  24. Marcie Layton permalink
    March 2, 2018

    I think this is probably my most favourite of all of your posts. I suppose that seems like a sort of literary slap-in-the-face, as this post is mostly visual, but it’s not meant to be. What’s so charming about it is the fact that, when one is lying prostrate in bed with the Lurgy, one’s thoughts tend more towards the ancient, and the elderly. Snowmen are such childlike images, and to compile snowmen whilst under the weather is just, well, so fun.
    I often forward on your writing to my husband, who, having lived in London for nearly five decades, just sort of “gets” the place.
    I also really enjoyed the post on how to prepare a pomegranate. We had a pomegranate bush in our front drive in California when I was a kid, and nobody really knew what to do with it. Its sole contribution to our lives was to scratch the side of my father’s car if he turned into the drive too quickly and cut the curb too close.
    Before I make my snowman today I have to shovel snow in the little courtyard behind our house. I’m dreading it because when I last went there to clear leaves out of the drain before a storm, I dipped my hand into the drain and came up with a toad, right in my bare hand. I’m afraid of hurting him with the snow shovel. Wish me luck.

  25. Patricia Dobbs permalink
    March 2, 2018

    What a brilliant idea and some amusing snowmen. And the dog one is brilliant Thankyou.

  26. Jules permalink
    March 3, 2018

    At times like these the relevance of posting snowmen photographs needs no explanation. Great pictures btw – I’m just thankful that SW London has finally cleared and the dangers of walking on two-day old crusty and slippery snow have been removed from my local pathways. Bring on the summer!

  27. keith kelly permalink
    March 4, 2018

    so clever and (with the exception of the 6th from last) so happy

    from boston – the one in the new world

  28. March 5, 2018

    these are wonderful <3

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