Do you remember the record-breaking heatwave and drought of summer 1976?

A "Save Water" poster painting competition organised by Wesley Hall Cub Pack, Wakefield and was won by Andrew Bigos, Thornes Drive, Wakefield.
A "Save Water" poster painting competition organised by Wesley Hall Cub Pack, Wakefield and was won by Andrew Bigos, Thornes Drive, Wakefield.

It was the hottest English summer recorded in 350 years and saw standpipes in the streets and householders told to save water by not running baths or flushing the toilet.

Click the above link to see photos and newspaper clippings

In 1976 the country’s heatwave led to the hottest summer average temperature in the UK since records began, which lead to the country suffering a severe drought.

It was one of the driest and warmest summers on record with June, July and August seeing temperatures over 30°C with five days seeing temperatures exceeding 35°C.

The summer and autumn of 1975 were very dry, and the winter of 1975–76 was exceptionally dry, as was the spring of 1976 with some months having no rain at all in some areas.

As the hot and dry weather continued, devastating heath and forest fires broke out, crops were badly hit, with £500 million worth of crops failing.

The weather sent billions of seven-spot ladybirds swarming in search of food, and had the most devastating effect on butterflies and moths in the 50 years since records began, a study found.

The 1976 heatwave is understood to have been the cause of 20 per cent ‘excess deaths’ and there were significantly more hospital emergency admissions

In the last week of August, days after Denis Howell was appointed ‘Minister for Drought’, severe thunderstorms brought rain to some places for the first time in weeks.

September and October 1976 were both very wet months, bringing to an end the great drought of 1975–1976.