Okay it's hot, but there was drought in the summer of 1976!

The Anglian Water reservoir in 1976 after months of dry weather.

The Anglian Water reservoir in 1976 after months of dry weather. - Credit: HUNTS POST

During the months of June and July, 1976, the region experienced an average rainfall of just 1.5 inches, which triggered a serious drought.

Anglian Water put some restrictions in place in May to prepare, but when no rain was forthcoming, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service were banned from using piped water to replenish their fire engines and farmers were asked to reduce stubble burning to save water. 

The Grafham Water reservoir suffered badly and levels fell to an all-time low. This meant ancient tree stumps, which had been submerged 14 feet under the reservoir, protruded above the scorched ground.

Freshly re-surfaced roads in Huntingdonshire began to melt and sand and stone chips were spread over the surfaces in a round-the-clock operation to protect the surface and make them safe for motorists.

On Saturday, June 27, RAF Wyton recorded a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius.

Plans for standpipes in the streets were being discussed at the highest levels of Government. Anglian Water later revealed it had been discussing plans for stand pipes, which meant one stand pipe for every 40 homes.

Eventually the rain came, arriving just in time for the August Bank Holiday Monday. With relief and disappointment in equal measure, two inches of rain fell in two days, which was more than the whole of June and July combined.