Memories of 1976

Other memories from the 1976 drought can be found across social media, framed as specific personal recollections:

Nigel Nicholls recalls: ‘I live in Cornwall. My wife & I married in March 1976. I recall seeing hedgerows burst into flames through the summer as we drove about the county. Livestock experienced a particularly hard time with water sources drying up. Large cracks appeared in the fields several inches wide & couple of feet deep. Road surfaces melted in the heat so beach sand was spread over the roads. We had used all our hay/haylage feeding our horses, as the grass had died, with no idea how we would cope during the winter months. I remember large lorry loads of straw being brought down from East Anglia for animal feed. At the time I was employed as a supervisory engineer with a local china clay firm where huge quantities of water were used in the mining & refining of china clay. We all worked around the clock extra duties to install pumps and pipelines to source water from flooded redundant clay pits to meet the demands of the industry. Men and animals alike were all mighty relieved when the rains eventually came. It might have been ok for the tourists but no fun for those who had to earn a living off the land. Real hard time is what I remember.’


And here is an interesting feature about the water being turned on again in the South West after three weeks of rationing from the perspective of three different locals.

We tend not to think about the risk of fire as a result of drought, yet here is amateur footage about New Forest fires spreading in the summer of 1976.

Even a UK weatherman is fascinated by the summer of 1976 to such an extent that he has created his own explanation. Click here to see his quirky little film.


And finally the BBC’s review of the period can be found here.