Weather: How current heatwave compares to record-breaking sweltering summer of 1976 when water was rationed and hosepipes were banned

While you have been sweltering in the heat count yourself lucky that Nottinghamshire people are faring better than they did back in the record-breaking summer of 1976.

Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 7:33 am

Water is still readily available so families can continue to keep their gardens looking their best and children’s paddling pools topped up.

Turn back the clock 46 years to the hottest summer since records began when the barometer climbed to 80F in parts of Nottinghamshire.

The introduction of a Drought Act rationed water and standpipes were introduced. People were banned from using watering cans, buckets and hosepipes to refresh gardens, parks and golf courses.

Residents collect water from a field tap meant for cattle during the summer of 1976.

A picture from our archives shows residents collecting water from a tap in a field meant for cattle.

The water level dropped so low at Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District, that the church tower of the flooded village of Derwent was visible.

In South Normanton, Ruth Hutchins had to barricade herself in her bathroom when her Irish red setter ran amok in the heat.

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However, it was not all bad news in 1976.

Not only did Nottinghamshire and the rest of the country bask in one of the hottest summers on record but it was also one of the most affordable years in living memory.

Families looking to escape into rural Nottinghamshire for a walk in a cool forest, picnic by a river or a thirst-quenching drink in a country pub could tank up their car for 77p a gallon, buy a loaf of bread for 19p or grab a pint for 32p!

The baking hot days of summer 1976 lasted from late June until the first week in September, momentarily broken by a brief drizzle in late August.