It’s back in time 35 years as our column takes a nostalgic look-back to the long hot summer of 1976. Yes, the year of 1976 saw the hottest recorded summer since 1727 and, as the sun beats down each and every day, also recorded is the worst drought in Great Britain for 504 years!
In this week’s picture, taken at the start of that glorious sun-filled summer of 1976, we can see captured on an early May-day afternoon, my dear red-haired daughter, Janette (age three) paddling in the still waters of Lake Burwain in Foulridge. That summer, Janette and her big brother Shaun, plus her Lancaster Street friends, Joanne Johnson, Lindsey Bradley and Lisa Davies, would play out on our front street for hours on end during wonderful hot days of 1976.
Family outings that halcyon summer saw the Crambie quartet set out for the swingboats and boating lake at Roughlee Amusement Park with ice cream and fizzy pop very much on the agenda. Picnics with a carrier-bag crammed full of goodies saw us by the stream at Blakey Bottoms and staying until the golden sun slowly sank as, in the twilight, pipistrelle bats would fly all around us.
Our family holiday that sweltering summer saw, at the height of the heatwave, us in magical Morecambe where the temperatures recorded broke all records. It was the seaside at its most glorious.
Events in the year of 1976 saw the deaths of L.S. Lowry, Agatha Christie, Howard Hughes, Viscount Montgomery, Mao Tse-Tung and Benjamin Britten. Harold Wilson resigns as Prime Minister and the American space-craft “Viking 1” lands on Mars, but for everyone who was here in Great Britain during 1976, the one thing that truly stands out is a summer we’ll never forget.