Looking back: Fond memories of those long hot days of summer

The mood of a nation is dictated to by the weather when summer comes.

Young residents of Water Street, Chase Terrace, look hopefully for rain in 1976
Young residents of Water Street, Chase Terrace, look hopefully for rain in 1976

Today we take a look at some classic images of years gone by, when we basked under a blazing sun.

As a landlocked region, there is a tradition for people in the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire to head for water.

Youngsters take a dip at Tettenhall paddling pool in Wolverhampton as temperatures soar in 2003
James Platt, 6, and Lewis Davies, 12, enjoying the weather at Swancote swimming pool near Wolverhampton in 2004
Trainee manager Claire Wall, then 18, under the sprinklers on the putting green at The Shropshire Golf complex at Muxton

Those not up for a three-hour trek to the coast instead pack pools in various parks, including East Park in Wolverhampton and its beloved Tettenhall Pool.

Even staff Dudley Zoo staff have got in on the act, donning bikinis and diving in to help keep elephants cool in 1979.

Dudley Zoo keeper Joanne Blount is only too ready to join baby elephant Estar for a dip in the pool during the heatwave in 1979
Andrea Redfern with cat-friendly ice cream at West Midland Safari Park in 2002
Market Drayton summer fair, held in 1968

Of course, it hasn’t all been fun. There have been droughts and gorse fires and, in extreme cases, fish suffering from a lack of oxygen in rain-starved rivers.

And spare a thought for those having to work while others enjoy themselves. Staff in Aston were put on overtime in 1982 to meet demand for garden sprinklers. And Clarke Foods took on extra ice cream staff at its Telford and Stourbridge plants in 1992 as demand spiralled.

Darren Willetts keeps cool with an ice cream or three at Victoria Park, Stafford, in 1983
Summer play at East Park Pool, Wolverhampton, in 1959
Wolverhampton Council objected to John Crosby's summer house. The photographer is J. S.

There is always room for an eccentric as well, of course. John Crosby decided to build a treehouse in Tettenhall in the summer of 1975, but fell foul of planners.

Covid and an erratic summer has limited our options to get out this time around.

But, as we endure another cool spell, there is hope around the corner. Forecasters predict another mini heatwave for early next month.

Firefighters battling flames on Haughmond Hill, near Shrewsbury, in August 1976
River Teme fish rescue in Leintwardine, 2013
ASL Airflow, Aston, Birmingham - making fans ahead of an anticipated hot summer in 1982
Boy running through trees in the Clent Hills
Two horseriders on a summer evening, near the Four Stones, Clent Hills
Michael Clarke with some of the workforce as Clarke Foods took on extra ice cream staff in Telford and Stourbridge plants in 1992 as demand spiralled

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