According to the Met Office: "On this day 40 years ago, June’s highest ever temperature of 35.6C was recorded in Southampton. It won't be that warm today."
Here are some facts about the Summer of '76:
- Many householders in Wales and the west of England were left without tap water for much of the day when temperatures were frequently over 80F; stand-pipes were installed in the streets as the pavements cracked or melted around them.
- The National Water Council made repeat appeals to people to save and recycle water, with one advert explaining jobs are more important than flower beds; and hosepipe use was banned.
- People across the country were told to put bricks or plastic bags full of water in their toilet cisterns and to use washing-up water to pour down the toilet instead of flushing.
- The rivers Don, Sheaf, Shire Brook and Meers Brook in Sheffield all ran completely dry, as did the reservoirs in Wales.
- In addition to appointing a Minister for Drought, James Callaghan’s Labour government actually drafted emergency plans to bring water by tanker from Norway.
- Nationally £500 million of crops were destroyed and food prices soared by 12%.
- Brewery Shepherd Neame, however, reported beer sales up by 8% on the previous year and at their highest since the war - the company had not been troubled by the weather as it had its own well, which was still plentiful.
...not least the Top Ten of this very week in 1976, which included The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy, Jolene by Dolly Parton, Heart On My Sleeve by Gallagher And Lyle, Let's Stick Together by Bryan Ferry, Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton, Tonight's The Night by Rod Stewart and You Just Might See Me Cry by Our Kid. You To Me Are Everything by the Real Thing was at Number 1, and at Number 2 the (very silly) Combine Harvester by The Wurzels.
Which just leaves one song. Now, I am no Paul McCartney fan by any stretch of the imagination - but, whenever I hear Silly Love Songs by Wings, I am instantaneously transported back to those heady, hot days...
"What's wrong with that?
I'd like to know."