THERE was no rain throughout the summer of 1976 - at the time, Britain's driest summer in more than 200 years.

With reservoirs drying up and river levels dangerously low, the Government appointed a Minister for Drought in the last week of August.

Denis Howell was charged with the task of persuading the nation to use less water. He told reporters he was doing his bit for water rationing by sharing baths with his wife, Brenda.

But days after he was appointed, it rained! There was heavy rainfall across the UK - and Mr Howell became known as 'Minister for Floods'. During the harsh winter of 1978/1979 he was appointed Minister for Snow.

Here is Mr Howell, when he was still Minister for Drought, visiting Bradford water depot workers in September, 1976.