The road and the miles from Dundee

Monday 6 December 2010

Fourteen inches of snow and no way of getting to work twenty miles away would have meant a ‘snow day’ at home for most workers last week.

But dedicated University chef Callum Law didn’t let the lack of transport get in his way, walking through snow for half the distance before hitching a ride the rest of the way to St Andrews.

Callum Law

Although he missed the breakfast run, Callum made it just in time to start the prepping of a tasty lunch consisting of carrot and coriander goujons and cherry tomato tortellini for 200 hungry students.

Callum (56), a chef at the University’s McIntosh Hall ended up stayed overnight in St Andrews for two nights so that he could complete his shifts for the week.

Callum’s journey began last Monday (29 November), when he got up as usual at 5.30am for a 7am start, to fourteen inches of snow in his quiet cul-de-sac in the Menzieshill area of Dundee.

Although none of his neighbours had managed to get their cars out, Callum tried to dig his way out of the street, but eventually gave up.  Since there was only one other chef (his colleague Don Burnett) in to prepare that morning’s breakfast, Callum was set on making an effort to get into work.

He said, ‘It was quite a nice morning and cool enough to walk in, so I thought I would walk to the Tay Road Bridge and hopefully get a bus once I was over it.  I stuck mostly to the road as it was easier to walk on and the roads weren’t as busy as normal at that time.’

The intrepid chef set off at 6.45am and made it to the other side of the Tay Road Bridge, exposed to the elements as well as an icy footpath, at 8.30am. He then sent off along the road to St Andrews, thankfully catching the eye of a meat delivery van driver about a hundred yards in.

Callum clocked into work at 9.10am, met by colleagues ‘flabbergasted’ that he’d walked for around ten miles in freezing conditions to get to work.

He said, “My boss couldn’t believe it, she didn’t expect me to come in and everyone said that anyone else would just have taken the day off.  But once I started that was it, rather than wait for a bus it was just as quick to walk because you can take shortcuts. You have to do what you have to do. The bus drivers are doing a really good job at the moment, so it was no major fuss me walking.”

But because the roads continued to prove difficult for the journey home and back again, Callum stayed at his colleague Don’s house on Monday night and Tuesday night, so he could do the rest of his shifts before his day off on Thursday.

The week proved challenging for staff as they couldn’t get milk from their usual supplier, so had to send staff on foot to the local supermarket to buy in bulk.  On another day, Hall staff set off to local baker Fisher and Donaldson for a batch of scotch pies, pasties and sausage rolls, which proved an unexpected hit with the students.

Callum finally got the bus home on Wednesday night, got the bus over for his shift on Friday and spent the weekend digging out his car so he could finally drive over today (Monday 6 December).

Although he’s a keen walker and often cycles to work, Callum wouldn’t be keen to do the walk again, although he didn’t suffer afterwards.  He said, “It was really cold walking over the bridge and like walking on ice.  And although I was fine the next day, no aches or pains, I wouldn’t want to do it every day!”


Issued by the Press Office

Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227 / 07900 050 103

Ref: Chef 061210

Category University news

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