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London Heatwave Of 1976: Vintage Photos Show How Londoners Enjoyed The Heatwave

June 28, was the hottest day of the year 1976 in United Kingdom. The temperature in Southampton was recorded as 35.4 degree Celsius. Heathrow recorded a temperature of over 30C for 16 consecutive days from June 23 to July 8.

The humid weather caused a drought across the UK – some places going 45 days without rain, which resulted in numerous bush fires. The heatwave also caused a swarms of an estimated 23.65 billion seven-spotted ladybirds across southern and eastern England.

People from London enjoyed and rushed to the beaches, pools. Here below are some photos that showed how Londoners reacted to the one of the hottest years.

#1 A Londoner sunbathing in Kensington Gardens with a knotted handkerchief protecting his head from the sunshine

A Londoner sunbathing in Kensington Gardens with a knotted handkerchief protecting his head from the sunshine

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#2 Some enterprising bathers use the bridge at the Serpentine as a diving platform in a bid to keep cool

Some enterprising bathers use the bridge at the Serpentine as a diving platform in a bid to keep cool

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#3 A woman soaks up the sunshine in a convertible car

A woman soaks up the sunshine in a convertible car

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#4 The scene at the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park as people enjoy the heatwave

The scene at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park as people enjoy the heatwave

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#5 Spectators at Wimbledon Tennis Championships protect themselves from the sun wearing newspaper hats

Spectators at Wimbledon Tennis Championships protect themselves from the sun wearing newspaper hats

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#6 A packed Brighton Beach

A packed Brighton Beach

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#7 Two women enjoy the rooftops views and heatwave

Two women enjoy the rooftops views and heatwave

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#8 Sunbathers enjoy the heatwave by the Serpentine in Hyde Park

Sunbathers enjoy the heatwave by the Serpentine in Hyde Park

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#9 A woman and child splash around in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

A woman and child splash around in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

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#10 Crowds gather at the Serpentine in Hyde Park

Crowds gather at the Serpentine in Hyde Park

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#11 Two London policemen take the weight off their feet during the heatwave, whilst patrolling the park

Two London policemen take the weight off their feet during the heatwave, whilst patrolling the park

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#12 A couple enjoy a boat ride

A couple enjoy a boat ride

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#13 Sunbathers on the beach at Brighton

Sunbathers on the beach at Brighton

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#14 Twop women cool off under a outside shower

Twop women cool off under a outside shower

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#15 People enjoy the cool water in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

People enjoy the cool water in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

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#16 A woman sunbathing at Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

A woman sunbathing at Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

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#17 Sunbathers on the beach at Brighton

Sunbathers on the beach at Brighton

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#18 A girl enjoying a shower

A girl enjoying a shower

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#19 Wellington Womble, hit-maker from Wimbledon Common, sits aboard his rainmaker machine. Summer Heatwave 1976.

Wellington Womble, hit-maker from Wimbledon Common, sits aboard his rainmaker machine.  Summer Heatwave 1976.

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#20 Lord Nugent, chairman of the National Water Council with the new Save the Water symbol, commissioned by the National Water Council during the Heatwave of 1976.

Lord Nugent, chairman of the National Water Council with the new Save the Water symbol, commissioned by the National Water Council during the Heatwave of 1976.

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#21 The River Thames, during the drought.

The River Thames, during the drought.

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#22 Marilyn Neivaag, at the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park during the heatwave of 1976.

Marilyn Neivaag, at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park during the heatwave of 1976.

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#23 Ilie Nastase, Romanian Tennis Player, feels the heat at Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.

Ilie Nastase, Romanian Tennis Player, feels the heat at Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.

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#24 Crowd Scenes during Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Thursday 24th June 1976.

Crowd Scenes during Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Thursday 24th June 1976.

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#25 Two women enjoy a beer as they cool down during heatwave, London, 1976.

Two women enjoy a beer as they cool down during heatwave, London, 1976.

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#26 Women sitting under umbrellas for protection from harsh rays of sun during heatwave, 1976.

Women sitting under umbrellas for protection from harsh rays of sun during heatwave, 1976.

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#27 Line umpire finds little shade during heatwave.

Line umpire finds little shade during heatwave.

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#28 Londoners relaxing on a summer day near The Serpentine in Hyde Park, London, UK, 25th June 1976.

Londoners relaxing on a summer day near The Serpentine in Hyde Park, London, UK, 25th June 1976.

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#29 A man relaxes in the sunshine in Trafalgar Square, London during the heatwave.

A man relaxes in the sunshine in Trafalgar Square, London during the heatwave.

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#30 Heatwave in Trafalgar Square, London.

Heatwave in Trafalgar Square, London.

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#31 As the temperatures soared, the cool fountains in Trafalgar Square were even more tempting to the people sitting around them, inspire of the law which says it is illegal to bathe in them, 13th June 1976.

As the temperatures soared, the cool fountains in Trafalgar Square were even more tempting to the people sitting around them, inspire of the law which says it is illegal to bathe in them, 13th June 1976.

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#32 People use fountains to keep cool at Trafalgar Square, London, 8th June 1976.

People use fountains to keep cool at Trafalgar Square, London, 8th June 1976.

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#33 Changing of the Guard in London today. An umbrella serves as a sun-shade for a spectator, 8th June 1976.

Changing of the Guard in London today. An umbrella serves as a sun-shade for a spectator, 8th June 1976.

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#34 Two nuns sit enjoying the weather, London, 1976.

Two nuns sit enjoying the weather, London, 1976.

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#35 Today’s sun brought out people onto Hampstead Heath to cool off in the water, 8th May 1976.

Today's sun brought out people onto Hampstead Heath to cool off in the water, 8th May 1976.

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#36 A police man offering an ice cream to his horse, 8th May 1976.

A police man offering an ice cream to his horse, 8th May 1976.

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#37 Keeping cool in the Serpentine, rowers enjoy a water fight, 7th May 1976.

Keeping cool in the Serpentine, rowers enjoy a water fight, 7th May 1976.

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#38 Crowds flocked to sunbathe and relax in Hyde Park, London, 7th May 1976.

Crowds flocked to sunbathe and relax in Hyde Park, London, 7th May 1976.

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#39 A man enjoying a fountain shower at Trafalgar Square, London, 8th June 1976.

A man enjoying a fountain shower at Trafalgar Square, London, 8th June 1976.

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#40 Cooling off in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

Cooling off in the fountains at Trafalgar Square

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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    • There were 384,000 non-white individuals in the UK in 1961 out of 52 million people. In 1971, there were 927,935 non-white individuals out of a population of 55 million or around 1.5%. International immigration to the UK peaked between 1975 and 1980. The UK has 8,108,626 non-white individuals as of 2011, out of 63 million people, or 12%