WITH the country sweltered in this week’s heatwave, T&A readers have been sharing memories of the long hot summer of 1976...

The heatwave that year led to excess deaths and a significant rise in hospital admissions. It brought a severe drought to the UK, with many reservoirs at a severely low level and some rivers running dry. The effect on domestic water supplies led to a Drought Act and the appointment of a Minister for Drought, Denis Howell, whose water rationing included banning hosepipe use.

In August 1976 the T&A reported that standpipes were likely to be put up in Bradford, Keighley and Skipton, and there would be tighter restrictions, including a ban on washing cars, to conserve falling water stocks.

Readers have been sharing memories of the summer of ‘76 on the T&A’s Facebook page, We Grew Up in Bradford:

Chris Barraclough recalls the eerie ladybird swarms that the hot weather brought: “I turned 13 in the summer of 1976. It just did NOT rain! I remember going on holiday to the seaside with my folks and seeing huge heaps of dead ladybirds being bulldozed about on the beach, with kids in swimming costumes were leaping about in them! Poor things had come over in swarms and just died.”

June Whitehead adds: “I remember the swarms of ladybirds. We went to Ingoldmells with our children in a touring caravan and there were ladybirds everywhere. They flew around in swarms, never seen anything like it before or since.”

Belinda Motley Liley recalls: “We went on a canal barge holiday summer of 76. It was great. Perfect weather.”

Lindsey Hill Mawson recalls the standpipes: “I remember as a six-year-old, running down to the standpipe with my mum to get water.”

Andy Kenny was busy working: “I was 13 and during the summer holidays was working in the pop and crisps shed in the back garden of our pub, The Roebuck in Greengates, prior to getting the family room built. It was manic, on a Sunday the pub shut at 3pm till 7pm but because very few left the garden till the pub re-opened, it kept open.”

Sheila Ognissanti: “I was in my 20s and working full time in an office. I just remember wearing a pair of lovely emerald green sandals, sunbathing in my mum’s garden, and being happy it was so sunny. So the heatwave must have sailed right over my head!”

Janet Harrison: “Born in 1950, we had long hot summers. We were never indoors, we played in the streets all summer.”

Christopher Heaton recalls summer flavours of ‘76: “Ben Shaw only doing three flavours, Walkers tray toffee melting to fudge, putting it in the freezer with Walls ice-cream, it broke up lovely when hit with the toffee hammer. Didn’t last long like that once it got outside.”

For Diane Binns it was: “A Canada Dry and cheese and onion crisps sat in the garden.”

Mark Bennett Thackray: “I remember it well. I went to Belmont Middle, we had three channels on the TV, no internet and no mobile phone and we played out all the time. We just got on with it and had a great time.”

David Wright: “Spent a lot of time swimming in Dobson locks at Apperley Bridge!”

Ian Douthwaite Taylor: “In the 60s there was hot weather too. The schools never closed whatsoever.”