Remarkable heat of a summer a century ago

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I WAS looking through a book I have which will be 100 years old this year and chronicles the salient events of 1911, and I thought your readers would be interested in one page of the book which is entitled the Remarkable Summer which I repeat verbatim as it appears in the book:

“The present year will be remembered for many remarkable events not the least of which will be the unprecedented summer.

Day after day of brilliant sunshine with the thermometer rising regularly to 80˚F and very often over 90˚F took the people unawares and those prophets who had foretold that the sun would gradually lose its power and the British Isles become part of the Arctic Circle were “without honour” (sounds familiar) in this year of grace.

The hottest day in London was reached on August 9 when 97˚F was recorded as the shade temperature at 4pm at Kensington whilst at Greenwich 100˚F was reported, this constituted a record for the Metropolis.

July was the month of highest mean temperatures in the 54 years during which records have been kept by the British Rainfall Organisation and the same applies to August. The figures for July: mean temperature 69˚F, mean maximum 81.7˚F; August: mean temperature 68˚F, mean maximum 80.8˚F, on 10 days the temperature rose above 90˚F and on 42 days above 80˚F.

The glorious weather induced people to flock to the seaside in their thousands where bathing was the most popular past time, the lack of rain was not generally felt so keenly as in some previous summers, the harvest was gathered early and in splendid condition.

The hop growers of Kent too reported a wonderful crop and good prices were realised.”

Let us hope as in 1911, 2011 will give us a similar summer after this very cold start to the winter. Other notable events of 1911 were the Coronation of King George V and the start of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.

Richard Clark

Main Street