THIS big cat in Knowsley Safari Park might be enjoying chilling out in the springtime snow – but the rest of us just want to know when some sunshine is arriving.

Heavy snow showers once again hit St Helens at the end of last week and the freezing weather has hung around – leaving a springtime big freeze.

Swirling winds as the showers fell last Friday caused huge snow drifts in some places, particularly in St Aidan’s Close, Billinge were it stacked up to five feet high It was so bad that council gritters – who are normally tasked with sticking to the major road networks running – were given a special snow clearance mission.

Elsewhere, services battled disruption. On this occasion every school in the borough opened its doors, however, there was a wipeout of amateur sports fixtures, postal services were disrupted, prompting frustration among some Star readers.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Conditions in some areas, such as St Helens, have been experiencing extremely difficult weather conditions.

“We apologise to customers who may not have had mail over the weekend because of this severe weather.

“Royal Mail is doing everything possible to keep the mail moving and all our people are out delivering where it is safe to do so.”

Last Friday it took a major effort by volunteers to clear snow and covers from the Langtree Park pitch ahead of Saints’ fixture with Salford (See pages 10 and 11). It meant the game went ahead but snow storms worsened just before kick off and the fixture was played in abysmal conditions.

There were plenty shivering in the bitter cold, including the poor cheerleaders, who had to dig out their thermals.

Meanwhile, the white stuff did bring some fun for families and a picture of Star Wars character Darth Vader sculpted in ice, sent to the Star by Chris Birkett via Twitter, was particularly impressive.