Summer clouds are drifting harmlessly over the church. On the street corner I open the lid of the large bin containing the grit for the icy roads and I peer inside. It is almost full. On the front of the bin there is a picture of a local authority workman wielding a snow shovel. The writing says: Snow Workers Wanted. And there's a telephone number for those seeking more information. Unemployment figures have been climbing steadily by degrees for more than 20 months. They are now at their highest level since 1953. The city is preparing for winter.