Hottest Day Ever in Britain
Britain experienced its hottest day ever – thus far – on August 10 2003. It was so hot that there were reports of senior civil servants loosening their ties; television executives looked out copies of The Day the Earth Caught Fire; and there was a rush on electric fans and air-conditioning equipment.
The hottest place in the country was in Kent, where near Faversham a temperature of 38.5C was recorded. The previous day Heathrow had claimed the record held since 1990 by Cheltenham . A mass exodus to the beaches around our coast meant a boom for hotels and guest houses , ice-cream vendors and seaside pubs . Less happy were bookmakers (shame) some of whom had given long odds against 100F being reached – 38.5C equates to over 101F. The other losers were those who didn’t get to the beach on time: space became limited on the sands; and some travellers stuck en route who experienced the misery of traffic jams exacerbated by melting road surfaces and rail journeys where trains had to crawl along well below their normal speeds because of the risks of buckling rails.
Behind the joy of sun specs was the worry that this was another indicator of global warming; but for kids on their third ice-lolly and dads justifying another pint to ward off dehydration it was just a lovely day to be alive.
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