For a country not built for the heat, this rare amount of sunshine and warmth was bittersweet. Many hoped to enjoy the weather on beaches and in parks with a BBQ and a few drinks, but it created dangerous conditions for many people and animals, melted runways, and disrupted trains. In East London, 40 homes and shops were burnt to the ground after a compost heap spontaneously combusted. Thankfully no one was killed.
The heat has broken in the country now and things have generally returned to normal. But the UK will likely see similar temperatures before long and will do so for years to come as the effects of climate change continue to impact countries across the world.
With this in mind, we decided to take a look at how Brits talked about the heatwave, and what they turned to get them through it. With the world facing increasing temperatures, the UK’s response offers insight into how people in countries that aren’t used to high temperatures will cope.
Back in my day
As the expectations for record temperatures grew, warnings were put out telling people how to prepare and how to protect themselves in the extreme heat. With the looming heatwave receiving a lot of press and media focus, some of the UK’s older generations took this as scaremongering.
Many referred to the summer of 1976 which saw high temperatures and severe drought between June and August.