The year of 1976 saw a heatwave which lasted for more than three months. At one point, we had 16 consecutive days where the temperatures topped 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Weather experts are predicting a warm to hot spell during this month.
It may well not reach the heights of those dizzy 70s days but it gives us a chance to reminisce on a South Tyneside summer we loved.
:: Sports grounds at Bents Park in South Shields were so hard in 1976, they were unplayable.
Summer car parking and a jazz band championships had taken their toll on the ground, as well as the red hot weather.
Without rain soon some pitches might have to be abandoned, said Coun Hugh Downey, chairman of South Tyneside Cultural and Leisure Activities Committee.
He added: “Unless we get some water on pitches, football will be impossible.”
Attempts had been made to solve the problem, said Coun Downey. “In other parts of the borough, football pitches have been resown with grass, but because it is so dry the seeds have not germinated.”
:: Gatoff’s in South Shields was urging people to buy their cooling clothes that summer.
The Fowler Street favourite was offering Fred Perry cricket trousers for £6.75 and lightweight jackets – ideal for golf and holiday wear – from £14.
:: The South Foreshore was packed in South Shields as sunseekers flocked to the seafront.
:: To keep your food chilled, Binns was selling upright freezers for £74.67 in a flash sale. Or why not play your copy of Abba’s Fernando or Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee on a new record player. Yours for just £119.95 from Binns.
:: Sunderland and South Shields Water Board was urging people not to use too much water during the heatwave.
:: Bonton’s in Ocean Street had a warm ‘weather forecast’ in the Spring of 1976. It was advertising short-sleeved denim shirts for £3.75.
Not all the news concentrated on the weather that summer, but what else was getting the people of South Tyneside talking?
:: Right from its distinctive opening title song, with the memorable couplet – ‘you shall have a fishy, on a little dishy’ – it was distinctively northern.
In the roasting hot summer of ’76, the cast of When The Boat Comes In descended on Readhead’s shipyard in South Shields to film part of the second series.
:: A documentary crew was filming the life of Lord ‘Billy’ Blyton, the man who went from humble roots in South Shields to the House of Lords .
A Lord By Accident was the title of the programme which looked at the man who was born in Bowman Street, Tyne Dock. He worked for 32 years at Harton Colliery.
What are your memories of the summer of 1976? Or do you remember a summer that was hotter?
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