By LEWIS BAZLEY
Who needs a coat? Partygoers hit the town in snowy Newcastle at the weekend
Temperatures have plunged across the UK, with roads blocked, school closures and heavy snow blanketing huge swathes of the country.
Not that you'd know it from these bracing pictures of female revellers in Newcastle city centre this weekend.
A passenger jet had overshot a runway at the city's airport on Thursday but on Saturday night the girls pictured showed they didn't mind some fog on the Tyne, or snow in the Bigg Market.
The north-east city's racecourse was closed on Saturday after at least six inches of snow fell and Chelsea FC were unable to fly home from their away draw with Newcastle United on Sunday due to the poor weather conditions.
But the cold winds and icy streets were no obstacle for city centre partygoers on Saturday night, as ladies hit the town in the skimpiest of outfits.
Newcastle's women were voted the sexiest in the UK in a 2009 survey and it seemed that the possibility of a coat ruining their revealing outfits was more frightening than freezing to death or having a painful skid on the slippery pavements.
Let's gan doon the Toon: Girls trudge through the snow and ice in Newcastle
No, I'm not cold, honestly: Geordie lasses try to keep warm on a chilly evening
According to new research, Northern women wear skirts that are on average 17cm shorter than those worn in the south.
Even in the cold weather, short skirts remain the trend in Newcastle, with sales of mini skirts rising by 28 per cent at one Newcastle store in the last month.
Renowned as one of the friendliest parts of the UK, the Tyne and Wear region is also famed for its bracing weather and locals' apparent imperviousness to cold.
Controversial comedian Jimmy Carr once joked that 'owns a coat' could be used as a put-down in Newcastle and as girls hit the town in cowboy hats, sailor outfits and barely-there dresses, the city's reputation for wearing skimpy clothing whatever the weather looks hard to argue with.
So ingrained is the concept of Geordies' hardiness that researchers last year investigated whether Newcastle natives had naturally thicker skin than their southern counterparts.
Linda Conlon, chief executive of the Centre for Life, said: ‘We decided to investigate the reputation Geordies have for not wearing a coat in even the worst weather.
‘Is there a possible genetic reason for our bravery or is it simply because we like to show off our finery on a night out?’
Cowgirl in the cold: A reveller struggles with the slippery Newcastle streets
Whether the Geordie lasses can continue to defy the cold for the next few weeks remains to be seen, with forecasters warning of another fortnight of sub-zero temperatures.
Michael Dukes, of MeteoGroup, predicted readings of minus 20C in some parts of Scotland this week.
‘You are seeing some ridiculously low temperatures – like the middle of Scandinavia,’ he said.
‘This is certainly an extraordinary cold snap.’
Scotland and the north-east have been the worst affected by the wintry weather so far and police have advised people to stay inside for all but essential travel.
Monday, 29 November 2010
'Howay man, it's not cold!' As Britain shivers, Newcastle girls prove they're not frightened of a bit of snow
By LEWIS BAZLEY