Gallery: Salad days of 1976 and those 35C temperatures - will 2013 be another long, hot summer?

My mum and dad, sister and her husband in 1976 on the beach at Hunstanton - by Janice Poulson

My mum and dad, sister and her husband in 1976 on the beach at Hunstanton - by Janice Poulson - Credit:

Visitors are certainly enjoying being beside the seaside – soaking up the sun, swimming in the sea and giving traders a welcome early season boost.

The long hot summer of 1976 is one many will never forget - whether it be for the fun in the sun, the droughts or the unbearable temperatures.

Or the snow that fell in May ahead of what would be the hottest summer, in terms of average temperatures, since records began.

The temperature reached at least 26.7C every day between 22 June and 16 July. For 15 consecutive days from 23 June to 7 July inclusive, temperatures reached 32.2C somewhere in England.

The hottest day of all was July 3, with temperatures reaching 35.9C in Cheltenham, one of the hottest July days on record in the UK.

According to Jim Bacon from Weatherquest, the 1976 summer followed a previous dry year, which meant a severe drought occurred.

He said some places saw the mercury hit 30C day after day, unlike the past few weeks where it is stopping in the high 20s most days.

Most Read

Mr Bacon added: “The whole summer was pretty good. Then it got to the August Bank Holiday and it poured.”

We asked members of to share their memories of that unforgettable summer of nearly 40 years ago.

Douglas P from Ipswich said: “I remember it well. Is it really 37 years ago? Seems like only last year (without the rain).

“It was sweltering in 1976. Travelling to work in the country I even remember seeing privet hedges that had died through lack of water, and it takes a lot to kill off privet. This year is nowhere near like it just yet, but it all depends on just how long the heatwave will last.

“Having said that, it seems like all the summers during my childhood were hot and dry and four weeks school holidays went on forever. But of course we only remember the good ones. Lets hope we get some rain soon. My garden could do with it.”

Jean G added: “I remember it well, having my daughter who was not quite a year old sitting in the garden sweltering hot with her paddling pool out. Like Douglas I can’t believe that it was that long ago and my daughter is coming up to 38. It makes you feel old.”

Muriel D from Bury St Edmunds said: “I had a yellow Cortina in 1976, we went to Felixstowe and when we came back to the car it was absolutely covered with green flys, I think it was the colour that attracted them.”

Viv K added: “My abiding memories of the summer of ‘76 were temperatures up to 100 degrees, the beach being too hot to stand on and a serious drought. So, no, 2013 does not begin to compare yet. If this hot weather continues to the end of August, then we may be somewhere close.”

Adrienne W said: “It has been too long since we were able to leave the house without a thought for the weather taking a turn for the worse during the day but we are not near the ‘76 length of run yet. I remember water shortages and our poor long haired dogs sweltering so much we put them in the bath to cool down after our own turn. “We wanted the shower afterwards when they shook themselves free of the water! My dad was a policeman and my mum a nurse. They must have dealt with many heat related incidents at the time.”

Meanwhile Janice Poulson sent a photo of her family enjoying the sun in Hunstanton back in 1976 via our iwitness service.

Share your memories of the summer of 1976 and upload photos at

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter