Share your memories of summer ’76

A packed Southsea beach during the summer of 1976
A packed Southsea beach during the summer of 1976
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The hot, hazy days of the summer of 1976 are fondly remembered by those who were there.

As the heatwave kicked in, people turned out in huge numbers to make the most of the sunshine, packing beaches, parks and all open spaces, often having taken car journeys on road surfaces which were melting beneath the wheels.

At its peak, for 15 consecutive days from June 23 to July 7, temperatures reached 32.2C (90F) somewhere in England. But the dry period also brought drought, leading to standpipes on street corners, devastating heath and forest fires across the south and crop failures which pushed up food prices.

It got so bad Denis Howell was appointed ‘Minister for Drought’.

Now, 40 years on, The News is looking for your memories and pictures from that long, hot summer. We want to relive those days and are working in partnership with BBC Radio Solent as part of its own Summer in 76 coverage.

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘It might have been a long time ago but no-one who was there will have forgotten that summer.

‘So please tell us what you remembered most and get looking through your old photo boxes and send them in to us. We’d love to see them.’

As well as in the paper, coverage will be happening throughout the summer on BBC Radio Solent, where listeners are also sharing stories about that summer.

Presenter Julian Clegg said: ‘It’s a great idea to mark 1976 – for anyone who is 40-something and older, it’s a year we’ll never forget.’

Senior producer Julie Massiter, who is leading the project, added: ‘Whatever was happening in your life, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you got married in 1976, had a baby or launched a new business. Do you remember the lengths your family had to go to save water or the music that got you dancing back then? We want to build a picture of life here 40 years ago.’

If you would like to share your memories or photos of your 1976 summer,email them to newsdesk@thenews.co.uk. Please put Summer of 76 in the subject line.

You can also send them in to our Facebook page at facebook.com/portsmouthnews and on Twitter @portsmouthnews.