Monday, June 06, 2011

Space Bong Baby

35 years ago today I went to my first comic mart. For the majority of you, a comic mart is like a record fair; it's a bunch of dodgy dealers in a room selling their wares to a bunch of unsuspecting idiots with money to burn.

35 years ago it was June 6, 1976 and it was hot. Very, very hot. While farting about on the 'net, I discovered just how awesome 1976 was. Are you aware that there were 36 consecutive days where the temperature exceeded 25 degrees centigrade? From the 23rd June through until the first week of July there were 15 consecutive days when the temperature exceeded 32C somewhere in the country and on five consecutive days it exceeded 35C. Or the fact that the temperature in London didn't drop below 20 degrees between May 4 and September 30 (except at night, obviously). Rainfall levels for June, July and August up to the 30th were what is now called 'trace'. In other words, it didn't rain and if it did we didn't notice it. But, here's a weird one for you; August Bank Holiday Monday in 1976 saw violent thunderstorms and torrential rain; so much rain that we had the entire summer average in 12 hours, making that summer no drier or wetter than any other year!

One little known fact is that on a day in June 1975, the 3rd to be precise, it snowed in England. I was at school watching the skies grow dark and then the heavens opened. There was so much snow that it even settled for a while. It is a memory I think will stay with me until I lose my marbles. Another little known fact about the summer of 1975 is that it was comparable to 1976 in temperatures, but much shorter. While 1976 had the first days where 35C was passed during the 20th century, 1975 briefly held the record for the hottest day, with 34.9C recorded near Gravesend in August.

Another dull weather fact, is that the warmest day of the year in 1985 was October 1st. It reached 30.5C and this was after the equinox. 1985 was a dreadful summer, even worse than 2006, 2008 and 2009, which were all pretty grim. On October 1st, 1985, me, the wife and our friends Graham and Clare (who now live in Queensland, which is very hot) went to Woburn Abbey and photos from that day show that the sun was sitting in an autumnal position.

In 1991, the country sizzled again. I remember sitting on my stool out the front of my shop as the temperatures got very close, but never reached 100 degrees. The warmest day, in July, was 99.7 degrees; the air was like soup and if you moved you started sweating. We were in the throes of a deep southerly air stream and it was so humid it played havoc with asthma sufferers.

June 6, 2011 and the temperature according to the thermometer in my car is 14C; it is overcast, it feels as though there's rain in the air and as I mentioned elsewhere, the forecast doesn't look as though it's going to improve before Wimbledon. Global warming has meant that the UK doesn't have summers any more; it has glorious springs and autumns; May and September are the best times to go on holiday.


Yes, I'm fully aware that the above is dull and boring; but I'm unemployed; what do you expect?


  1. Don't recall the snow in '75 as I would have been esconced in the exam room (the gym - windows at just below roof level) doing my O Levels. I do remember snow in June walking to school in 1969 though..

  2. I don't know, I find these weather posts quite interesting, but then I'm rather dull and boring.

    I remember blizzards in the south in 1990 or 1991; that's the most significant snowfall I recall until the last couple of years.