In Pictures: Heatwave hosepipe ban harks back to 1976 drought

It has been one of the driest summers on record, but will 2018 go as far to match the drought of 1976?

The current heatwave is believed to be the longest since 1976 when there were 15 consecutive days of temperatures reaching 32C or higher and many months without rainfall.

1976 was marked by standpipes in the streets, water rationing and the appointment of a Minster for Drought.

Here’s what Britain looked like back in that summer.

Staines Reservoirs

Normally holding 3,500 million gallons, Staines Reservoirs dropped down to 17 million gallons amid the heatwave

Denis Howell

Denis Howell was appointed Drought Minister to help manage the water crisis


Residents across the country had to fill buckets from water standpipes in the street


A model was photographed tanning herself in the dried-up basin of Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire

Broad Oak

Drought-hit farmland at Broad Oak in Kent during August 1976

Queen Mother Reservoir

The average maximum daily temperature in June 1976 was 19.9C

1976 drought lookback

The River Thames at Teddington after Thames Water Authority back-pumped water at Molesey Weir


Household supplies in Newport, Wales, were cut for 12 hours a day in a bid to preserve the desperately low stocks

What memories do you have of the Summer of ’76?

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7th Apr 2019
Thanks for voting!
I was an apprentice bricklayer in 76 and it was a nightmare to work in the heat. The mortar was drying out quicker than we could spread it to lay the bricks.
5th Sep 2018
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Glorious weather, I remember the hosepipe ban.

I live in an area with aquifers and rivers, plenty of water for our needs.
However, there is a water bottling plant close by that sucks up the water and sells bottled water to other countries.
Why are they allowed to do this? Not enough stringent controls to preserve our water resources I feel.
Whitby Rocker
31st Aug 2018
Thanks for voting!
I remember 76 summer very well, I was 12 and school holidays were fantastic.
I live in Whitby and at our annual Regatta at night that summer, the grass on the cliff caught fire and the fire brigade had to be called out.
We keep hearing about global warming and soaring temperatures but summers were warm 40 or 50 years ago.
The global warming thing is all about getting more money out of us.
20th Jul 2018
Thanks for voting!
1976 was the year I left school so I remember it very well
20th Jul 2018
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I am not in the least bit surprised if there is a nationwide hosepipe ban.
Although the foreign owned water companies give so much publicity when cornered, to tell us of the vast amounts of money that they are investing in the company, it is only on closer inspection of information obtained, that most of this money is spent repairing leaks.
There is never any mention of new reservoirs being built or existing ones being enlarged.
If these foreign owners are making handsom profits for their foreign shareholders why should they have to reduce dividens for the silly Brits.
Yes we are silly, has any European country ever sold off their precious asset to a foreign country............Answer not likely, just try anything like that in France.
20th Jul 2018
Thanks for voting!
I was working for a company delivering fresh fish around South Wales. We had a hell of a job keeping the stuff cool and had a huge ice machine on permanently.

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