Summer of 76

Lyme Regis Beach - - 717762

1976 is most remembered for the great drought.

The Summer of 1976 was one of the best summers ever in the UK. London had a record June temperature of 95°F (we thought in Fahrenheit then!). We had a heatwave that went on for weeks and weeks. I can remember the ground cracking and the tar on the road melting. And yes, there was a hosepipe ban; but to a nine year old it seemed a small price to pay!

In some areas people had their water supply turned off for most of the day to conserve water. Hosepipe bans were across the country and even firemen in the New Forest were told not to put out forest fires.

What else was happening in 1976?

The Sex Pistols had their first UK hit - "Anarchy in the UK", which was promptly banned in December. In the Summer though, people were listening to Elton John and Kiki Dee singing "Don't go Breaking My Heart", which was number one for six weeks. Also in that year Brotherhood of Man won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with "Save Your Kisses For Me" and does anyone remember the Wurzels singing "Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)"?

Ford launched a new Cortina, the Mk IV, in 1976, which became an instant top seller. This was pretty much the last incarnation of this long-running favourite. The Mk V (launched in 1979) brought only minor changes.

1976 was the year Harold Wilson resigned and James Callaghan became the Prime Minister. Initially he performed well in the job and had a calming influence. 1976 was not known for strikes and industrial unrest.

Add your memories of '76

Best summer of my life, I would swop anything to spend time back then. I was 14, girls, beer, disco, sun. Those summer nights went on forever, time went along as time, today it races by. I am a grandad now but just remembering anything from back then takes me there just for a brief moment. I loved the 70's, silly love songs by wings, messing teachers about, water fights, being young and carefree in that long hot summer. I thought life would be like that forever. Priceless cherished moments. Nicky

What an amazing summer that was, I was 14 at the time and lived in Addiscombe in Croydon, I remember the long break from school. I spent most of the days swimming at our local pool in South Norwood, back then it was only 50p to get in and I was in 7th heaven. When I wasn't swimming, I would while away my hours out in the playing fields and woods, with other local kids, making a den in some place or other. A lot of our mothers worked and in school holidays, we were left pretty much to our own devices, but back then we had more respect for our elders, we didn't have gadgets and luxuries, we didn't have much money either, it was either squash or water and crisps if we were lucky enough, we would, for a dare often go into the local woolies and pinch something or other lol. We had second hand bikes, rollar skates and fights, pinching fruit from the local allotments, or when it was just simply too hot would lie out on the fields and watch the clouds slip by and dream of what we would like to be when we grew up. yeah the 70s and that summer of 1976 was quite the best time I think. sharon evans

what a year, reading all your stories brings back lots of memories. I Passed my driving test in a vauxhall viva previous transport was a purple fs1e bought in blackpool first car was a Austin 1300 which gave me great independance I use to take turns to drive to night clubs with my friend who had a 1969 mk1 escort. remembering songs like dancing queen great days. nick wild

Oh how I agree with Sarah Walmsley; anyone old enough to remember this summer has special memories of it, and , yes, life did move at a much slower pace. No-one bumped into you on the street because they were jabbering into a phone or texting, and there wasn't the email and techology-induced stress we have now. My main memories of that summer were the wonderful music we had - plus the fact I left school - such as Wings, The Bellamy Brothers, Tavares, The Four Seasons, Candi Staton, etc. etc. and going on holiday to Cornwall. I would pay someone to release a CD set of Summer '76 hits!! We musn't forget that it wasn't a good summer for farmers, but how I wish we could return to that simpler time. Martin Johnson Martin Johnson

I was 24, working for BSM in Cardiff, that summer just seemed to go on and on way into October I think. I got married, sadly it did'nt last. It seemed to me to be the summer that got us all sitting outside at pubs, having BBQs in the back gardens, things that are the norm now. Garnet Marshall

i remember it well, i was 8 at the time and it seemed to last forever. we lived just outside manchester in a small terraced house with no bathroom!!!! we where lucky to have a large park which had a lake and paddling pool to cool off in. Never had a summer like it since, and in some ways even if we did it wouldnt be the same. the pace of life is differant now. expectations are too high etc, i recall as another reader put, fairy liquid bottle water pistols, we didnt need hi tech gadgets to have fun. sadly an influx of health and saftey, media have it all culture has killed that now. but summer 76 remains where it is, a glorious memory of a happier, safer, less spoilt time. sarah walmsley

The summer of 76, what can you say, we ended up taking it for granted that tomorrow was gonna be hot (which it was) I was 19 at the time and working shifts in a local factory. On nights we used to have our last break at 4 till 430 and go outside to watch the sun come up, also went to Blackpool on holiday that year with six mates and never saw a cloud all week. Everyone just seemed so happy and not having a care in the world, what a summer, will remember it forever. Pete Roberts

1976 was the happiest year of my life.after some problems to manage to have a child our one and only child was born he has always been our pride and joy.Now he is going to be 34 in 2nd week in may and he has got three sons of his own now and our cup runneth over maggie

Sweltering in North Wales, in a chalet for some reason & not the usual 6 berth caravan!!!!! massively into WINGS and 10cc, had my first hair appointment at JAMES & PETERS, courtsey of my sister(v.posh!!!!...) Tom Jones

I will never forget the long hot summer of 1976 in London. I was 12 years old and my friend used to call round for me and we would race down to the local outdoor swimming pool at Victoria Park. The days were so, so hot, I would sit with my face pressed against the window willing him to arrive so that we could get down there and in the water! It was the only year I can remember when they stopped letting people in because of overcrowding. Other days we would sunbathe on the roof of our block of flats by going up the fire escape! The hot weather seemed to go on forever that year. Some of our neighbours used to sleep outside in their gardens because it was so warm at night. The outdoor swimming pool has long since been demolished, and I live in Australia now, so long hot summers are a yearly occurrence! Andy Hanrahan

that was the year i has just learned to drive, i had my 1963 ford cortina parked at my parents house is stourbridge, west midlands, anyway in the june of 1976 me and 5 mates went down to clarach bay , wales it was up to 90F most days, it was one of the happiest time of my life... mike

i can remember high temperatures at 8 o`clock in the morning and going to discos where the idea was to get the temperature over 100 degrees ,we used to dannce bathed in sweat ,phew! what a stink ,happy days martyn

As an east London lad, i had a just started to realise that football was not what life was all about, especially when for what seemed 3 glorious months, Girls and Women ( women were over 24 years old) seemed to wear nothing but tight jeans, or mini skirts with skimpy tops, and everyone had suntans, and no-one wanted to stay inside, whether it be pubs, clubs or at home.

The average age of the rare species - the virgin - crashed to about 12 years, as everyone was 'at it' and the heat 'was on'

my job in a local shipping office was suprising not very boring, as the lunchtime hour and a half made it worth while, drinking pints of light and bitter, and eating peanuts, as no pub in east london served sandwiches - 'far too poofy' and 'upper class'.

I had a mark one escort, at the age of twenty two, and was suprisingly stil alive by the start of the eighties, beeing as i was always 'wrecked' most weekends.

seventees were great, but I am paying for it now.... Mike

i was 6 that year, and had moved from tottenham to hertford to a new housing was fantastic half built houses and flats to explore. i was out all day making new friends, i remember lots of lady birds and daddylong legs which i loved catching. as you can imagine i was very tanned and hav'nt been that tanned since. my sister mixed vinegar and baby oil together and used that as tanning oil. i tried it once and had to have a cold bath as it stung like hell. good old days who needed factor 50(joke). lesley

summer of 76, i was 18,got my first car, a cortina mk11.the weekend started on a thursday. the disco in the swan, then to bo jangles niteclub.not a care in the world, happy days. unless you where there, it is hard to explain,my daughters just think im a sad ole git. nigel


I lived in Looe, Cornwall then, and for me and my brother and our friends it seemed like paradise. School weekends and the summer holidays seemed to be spent either at Millendreath beach or fishing from the rocks for wrasse. I was 11 then and i guess we were lucky to live by the sea. I seem to recall that there were loads of bush fires as everything was tinder dry. At the end of the summer we had a massive thunder storm, about 10 inches of rain fell overnight in our area apparently and Polperro was severly flooded. Pauly

What a summer. I picked up my brand new Kawasaki KE175 in green on my 17th birthday (april 8th) and had the most fantastic summer of my entire life. It seemed to run forever!! Day after day of endless sunshine, and life moving along at a snails pace. Long, balmy summer evenings with out a breath of wind to cool you down. Out on my bike till all hours just loving the feeling of freedom, and independence that it gave to me. I could go anywhere whenever i wanted to!! Wearing cheese cloth shirts and flared denim jeans with platform shoes, and for saturday nights i had a blue velvet jacket. How cool was that? It was certainly the best time of my life. Put me in a time capsule and i'd go back to that year again and do exactly the same things all over again!! ( I'd maybe have a Kawasaki KH250 instaed though)!! Deano

The 70's where for me the best years of my life, and 76 was so special. I was 28 years old and divorced. I worked as a contractor on site work and i was a golden brown colour as it was so hot. The girls where beautiful. I was going out with a girl called Judy who i met that year. She left England to go to Bermuda to live and my heart went with her. Never got over her. The music was fabulous. My favourite was 'Young hearts run free' by Candi Stanton. When i hear it now my mind runs amock with the thoughts of 1976. If anyone in their 60's reads this i am sure they will agree, it will take some beating. Ray

i wish i could go back to the 70's remember summer 76 going to the park every day with my brothers doing lots of great thing not like we can do now and we had great music and tv as well not like today keith

The summer of 1976 seemed to go and on, i was 18 and at Pontins at Camber Sands,Sussex in June, we spent one day on the beach and could not see anything as there was a heat haze, i remember Bjorn Borg winning Wimbledon for the 1st time. I had never expreienced a summer quite like it, drinking pints of lager and lime and listening to Wings 'silly love songs' and Peter Frampton's 'Shown me the way' great music, great summer,great times. kevin

Like some previous comments, I am overcome with nostalgia at the memories. I remember that there was a plague of ladybirds - they were EVERYWHERE. I was 16 in September of 1976. My last year of true innocence, before getting a serious boyfriend & the heartache & life changes that all of that entails. For me it was the longest, hottest & best summer ever. alison

hi i was 17 in 76 like alot of people my age i had a yamaha fs1e all the rage then we had some good times but it all went pearshaped got in abit of bother then endid up in borstal in the smmer of 1976 that was the longest year of my life but some how they were good times i wish i could go back to then i would have seen the light and gone the other way but,its to late now never mind we can still remernis Jim Boot

I was 17 and living in Cardiff during that long hot summer, I had my first Motorbike, a Suzuki TS185 I loved that bike. taught my first girlfriend to ride it, she was so beautiful I was madly in love with her, her name was Julie. there was a group of us all about the same age most had motorbikes and we would spend the summer going for rides, going to the pub or just sitting in the field where we used to meet up, talking and messing around till it was late. A small stream ran along the edge of the field, this had dried to just a trickle, the smell of scorched earth bracken and grass filled the air. I used to take a radio to the field on a Sunday evening and we Would listen to the top 20 songs.

I have never known such wonderful times and I guess I never will, my beloved old bike has long since gone, the long hot summers have gone, the field is still there but houses now surround it, all my old friends have moved away, except maybe one, found Julie on facebook, and have had lunch with her a few times, she is still as beautiful as ever, and my feelings for her, well some things never change. David

So many great postings in here, all of which I can relate to. Happy, happy times.. I was 20 in April that year. I agree - the music was amazing - chilled out. Everyone took things more slowly in those days. It bugs me when I hear remarks about the 70s such as 'the decade that taste forgot.' Obviously made by people who never experienced the halcyon days when life was slower and people seemed to have so much more time for each other. Memories of happy times when Dad was still with us, and the whole family were together. I worked in the footwear department at Derby Co-op back then. What a great bunch of people, many of whom have, sadly, passed on. I wonder what the others made of their lives? Whatever happens in the future, at least I have the memories of endless days with blue skies, and people happy, all around me. No-one can take that away. Tony Eyre

God!!!! reading all your stories has brought back fantastic memories. I was 11 and 76 was the summer before the dreaded move up to the big school! such sadness to leave my primary school friends who mostly all came from a 1 mile radius of the school,It was a time of leaving home at about 9am on your bike just cycling up the road and bumping into any kid from my class and planning who to go and meet and what are we going to do today, mostly football on the green,messing about down by the river,seeing how many could get on the rope swing (13 i kid you not!) it seemed that all the time we were outside and everyday was just perfect, it was always a bind having to go home in the evening, i was made to go to bed at 10 at the latest,and it was still pretty light outside(impossible to sleep)a fantastic time to be 11 and have your friends,the music of the time,and that perfect weather. Neill (nb,in 2008 my class of 76 met again at a reunion. scince then we have had seven reunions!!! with some of the old teachers coming along,this just confirms to me that i really did have a lovely school and great friends,it wasnt just rose tinted glasses... Ah 76 we were lucky to be there) Neill Howarth

1976,. Year of my A level exams. Eternal heat and sun that summer. Rotten time for revision!! Fell in love for the first time that year; needless to say that summer after exams was idyllic and steamy!! Flared jeans, cheesecloth shirts tied at the waist (girls at any rate). Passed my driving test on 26th June in an original FIAT 500. With a crash gearbox and on one of the 95*f days that month, molten roads on which to drive. I remember my examiner's name was John Tether - reckon he'd reached the end of his by the end of my test. Passed me though!!

I rode a 1972 HONDA CB 250K4 that year, gold with an Avon full fairing and rode to Exmoor on holiday. Rode back a week later through acres of charred woodland. First job at a Factory in South East London that summer. Hottest place on the industrialised earth!!

Fab, fab, legendary summer. Other contributors have heralded that summer as a sociological turning point...I wonder if that was so. I don't think I look back with rose tinted glasses.......most of the roses had died through lack of water LOL!Mark

I was 19 and a student in Woolwich. We slept in the corridors of the hall of residence because the rooms faced south and never cooled off enough to go back in. We were just doing our part one exams at the end of may early June when the temperatures just went up and up. If there was a bit of breeze we went down to the Woolwich ferry unless the tide was out when the sun made the mud smell very bad indeed. Young's ordinary was about 25p a pint and I could just about get by on 5 a week. I was thin then. Ha!Tony

I can remember that long hot summer, riding my raliegh chopper bike i'd be about 14. flared jeans and denim jacket doc martin boots. ice cream after ice cream. cresta soda drink. top deck n pepsi. went on my hols to bournmouth. lady birds every where. came back to shropshire to be told our local woodland was on fire for 3 days and the river(tern) was now a trickle. late nights on the park chatting with my mates. takeing a wet towel to bed to cool down. great days.gary pardy

The reason we all have fond memories of the hot summer of '76 - is because we have never had another one like it! I can remember the TV weather chart reading - dry and sunny - all over the country for weeksDot

I remember the summer of 1976 with fond memories - I was 15 and lived next to a forest and most of our time was spent in there exploring and generally having fun. The tar was so hot it melted. I remember sitting around that year discussing what we would all do with our lives - I have been in touch with many of my friends from that time and life turned out a lot different for many of us than we imagined it would. The music was fab... and it was the year I discovered girls for the 1st time. Sometimes I wish's I could go back to that more innocent time and thanks to diaries I have kept since I was 10 I can in my memories.. ian arbuckle

I was 14 and living in Liverpool, I seem to remember the summer went from Easter in April until we went back to school in the September, though May was a bit like this years so, here's to a repeat of 76 but I'm not a teenager now so the long lazy bike rides to Southport, Formby and other places and going out eyeing up the totty, especially the gorgeous young mums, won't be happening, yeah the latter part hasn't changed.

They were the days we'd have our own stupid its-a-knockout competitions in the back garden, with hoses gushing, not realising what a hosepipe ban was. lol Going to Southport fair with the family or mates having great times copping off with the cutest girl you could find, going on the caterpilla waiting for the canopy to come over so, you could snog the girlies whilst listening to the music of 1976

  • Jan - Abba 'Mamma Mia' 31/1/1976
  • Feb - Slik 'Forever And Ever' 14/2/1976, Four Seasons 'December '63' 21/2/1976
  • March - Tina Charles 'I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance)' 6/3/1976, Brotherhood Of Man ''Save Your Kisses For Me' 27/3/1976
  • May - Abba 'Fernando' 8/5/1976
  • June - J J Barrie 'No Charge' 5/6/1976,Wurzels 'Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)' 12/6/1976, Real Thing 'You To Me Are Everything' 26/6/1976
  • July - Demis Roussos 'Forever And Ever' 17/7/1976, Elton John & Kiki Dee 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' 24/7/1976
  • Sept - Abba 'Dancing Queen' 4/9/1976

God there were tons and all good music, Anita Ward, Blondie, Elton John, Focus, Four Tops, Joe Tex, Marshall Hain, Moments and Whatnauts, Mud, Rainbow, Randy & The Rainbows, Simon & Garfunkel, Slade, SMOKIE, Sparks, Status Quo, Supremes, Suzi, Quatro, Sweet, T.Rex, Disco Tex and the Sexolettes.

What a year what a summer, it was a pleasure to have been there and experienced it and to now have shared it, with you. Mark

....FS1-E; chopped ('73 model SS50 not to be confused with the 4 stroke Honda crap) mine in in '74 for a new 250 kawasaki S1-B...30 years after I sold the 250 to go racing (TZ 350) it is now back in my possesion albeit in bits, turned up as a result of a chance conversation....john davies

I left school in 76 and got my first bike an fs1e best year of my life. mick

For many teenagers in 1976 much of the music that made 'the charts' left us cold - discos and clubs reverberated to the sounds from across the Atlantic - funk, this music was so 'super-baaaad' it would come round and burgle your house when you were out. Here's a little taster from my book Booted and Suited

The summer of 1976 was legendary, it would long be remembered for its oppressive heat wave when hose pipes inevitably were banned, tarmac melted and temperatures and tempers rose to boiling point. The music suited the heat, The Ohio Players released another scorching album, Contradiction, the funk was nastier than ever with tracks like Tell The Truth, and the eerie Far East Mississippi, the inevitable single release from the album, Whod She Coo? was pure pop-funk which deserved a showing in the charts alongside James Browns Get up Offa That Thing and The Isley Brothers Harvest for the World, but sadly it didnt get one. Someone else who appeared in the charts in the summer of 1976 was the lounge lizard himself Bryan Ferry, with his biggest hit to date Lets Stick Together. Ferry was now totally devoid from Brian Eno and the rest of Roxy Music who had declined with the demise of glam rock and glitter the previous year. Ferry was becoming something of a fashion icon with British youth, his androgynous look of the early 70s had now given way to a leaner, meaner image with sharp suits and a penchant for American military khakis as worn by Glen Miller thirty years earlier. Ferry had even taken to wearing the soul boys favourite footwear, the plastic sandal, and the boys in turn donned the khakis. Blue denim was as popular as ever, for shirts as well as for jeans, which for the soul boys anyway were erring towards a more slimline straight-legged style while the rest of the nation were still firmly clinging on to the hideous baggy flares as made by Falmers. FUs labelled all-in-one bib-and-braces purchased from Jean Machine matched with vee-necked, collared tee-shirts were also much in evidence and teamed up with the smarter, shorter hairstyles thankfully gave us all a respite from the era that taste had forgotten, although unfortunately facial hair, for the lads anyway, was becoming increasingly popular, with every spotty-faced seventeen year-old attempting to grow a droopy moustache and sideburns.

The soul boys, whose numbers had increased dramatically in the last year and who included my old chum Harry, sporting the heaviest of heavy fringes, were now the dominant force amongst the club-goers in Bristol and became synonymous with the ever burgeoning dance scene. Although I was very much part of their music scene, the soul boys fashion in relation to the clothing at any rate was passing me by, in fact due to their penchant for the ubiquitous plastic sandal the soul boys even became the subject of much derision. They quickly became known as Kit kiddies or Jelly heads due to their peculiar head movement action whilst dancing, it wasnt really an insult more of an emphatic observation. Chris

I was 18 in 1976 living in Redcar on the Nth east coast. I remember it was the only year the the Nth sea actually felt warm to go swimming in Redcar beach was packed at weekends. I remember the hot weather went on for weeks. We spent a fortune in the pubs every one was guzzling loads of beer and lager in the heat. Some mates of mine went to Callela in Spain on holiday I could not afford to go but when they returned everyone was just as brown as they were they would have been better staying in England and going camping to Scarborough like the rest of us did that year. It was a great year and had great music Oh Happy days.steve bellas

I was 8 years old in 1976 and remember the heat wave well. Everyday was red hot and I remember my skin turning golden brown in the blistering sun. I often think of all the good times I had as a kid on our council estate. We never had much but we were all happy and 1976 was a great year. My favourite band was T Rex and my mum and dad were rockers so I had hair right down my back at 8 years old. I often look at old photos and think I'd do anything to turn the clock back to the 70,s...happy days for me as a kid. Jim

Reading all these messages has given me goosebumps - that summer of 76 is so haunting - some of the greatest memories ever! David Carr

The summer of 1976, anyone who's old enough to remember it, will never forget it. Steve Stokes

I was 21 in 76 and it was the summer of all summers. The long walks to the river to swim, camping out, every day as good as the last one and it seemed to go on forever. Everyone seemed to be happy that summer, although I know the long hot spell had its drawbacks, I hardly noticed it. They broke the mould that year. Kevin Gannon

I was 14 in the summer of 76 this was the end of the glam rock era. I see someone mentioned the Ladybird invasion, but that was the summer of 75. In the 76 drought, we spent most days over the Tottenham lido trying to keep cool in the water, and remember getting bad sunburn, even in the shade it was stifling hot, and I recall several fires starting by the sun scorching the grass and setting it ablaze. I have many happy memories of those far off days.Ray

I was born in August 76 and my mum frequently mentions the heatwave and having to carry me. It's been lovely reading the memories of that summer.Kelly

I left school in '76 and got a job washing cars at a garage. The owner insisited that the cars were sparkling and I had to continually wash them during the water shortage. The garage was on a main road and the stick I got from passing motorists!!!! I also kissed the most beautiful girl in school and felt like Master of the Universe and all the world lay at my feet. Sweet Lord, give me back that year? Paul

Hot Child In The City - was my favorite song.

I was born in October of 1976 so I don't remember much of that year, but somehow, and someway, this feeling, this wonderful, relaxed, special feeling of the 70's seem to have impressed itself upon my soul, and sometimes, when I look at pictures or when memories come back to me with more detail then normal, it is like I feel that era all over again and it is indeed, exquisite! Maryann Morgan

WOW, what a summer 1976 was, the best summer ever ! We lived in Birmingham and I left school that year at 16. I have wonderful memories of that glorious hot summer. There was something so special about that year. I sometimes listen to those great songs that stick in your head from that year, you know, Abba, Elton John, Candi Staten etc, and it always brings a smile to my face. Sometimes I close my eyes, and can even smell it! It was that good!

I left school in May '76, I applied for my first job and got it, but it didn't start until the end of August. This was also the year of my first love, we had three memorable summer months together, clear blue skies, temperatures in the 90's plus, and ladybirds everywhere, even in brum! She's someone I'll never forget. I remember ringing her from the phone box down the road from where we lived, it was like an oven.

I also remember my John Travolta cream flares, side pocket trousers, loafer shoes, Tiswas, Radio Luxemburg, hey, that was great, Dads Army, Chopper bikes, 'sure' deodorant, Brut aftershave, 45's and 78 LP's, James Hunt 1976 F1 Champ, Jaws, 'Charlie perfume', Dentine bubblegum, the list goes on. Oh, how I wish I had a Time Machine!

Would love to hear from anyone to share our memories and reminisce of that 'Hot summer' I'm at [email protected] - or Friends reunited, check it out. Have fun.Robert Emerson

July 1976 was when we moved into a new house in Cribbwr Square, Kenfig Hill where most of the top end of the street had been completed and every evening we and all the neighbours sat on the front lawn or doorstep having tea, coffee or booze up to about 10:30 every evening until the autumn set in, relaxing in the warmth and getting to know each another as we were all new to the street.

Unfortunately, the novelty wore off and even when we had hot weather over several weeks again in following years there was nothing like the relaxed feeling we all had in the first year. John R Jones

I had lovely long blonde hair, and this summer it went almost white with the bleaching of the sun. I had to wear sunhats a lot. It was a brilliant typical British summer and I loved it!Karen Dover

Yes summer of 1976 had also special memories for me as a kid growing up In Aberdeen Scotland, I was 10 years old at the time and had my first overseas holiday to Canada with my Gran, leaving my mum and dad brother and sister behind, I remember the fantastic holiday to Canada getting an extra 3 weeks off school for it, obviously the great weather and going to see the movie "Jaws" ah those were the days..Adds

What a great summer! - I remember the great cracks that opened up in our garden at Irwell Close in Melton Mowbray during the summer heatwave - but most of all I remember the biblical plague of ladybirds during our family trip to Hunstanton. I was 7 years old and my sister was 10, my dad drove us in his metallic blue Escort Mk I and he had the wipers going to clear the ladybirds that were as thick as rain! Walking around the town later I remember the great pools of ladybirds gathered around the base of every sign post. It seemed like the summer would never end and I stayed out playing with my best mate Stuart "Jeppo" Jepson for hours! A great memory of more innocent times.Paul Saddington

In 76 I was in the army (Royal Engineers) and had just moved from Germany to Tidworth on the Salisbury Plain in Hampshire for the summer. We did a few earth-moving and construction jobs on the plain and I also enjoyed a lot of cross-country running, flying gliders at Upavon and a parachute course at the Marines para club in Dunkeswell Devon. I landed on the runway on my first jump and on the grass after the second, then realising they were equally hard! I also spent time down on the Gower in south Wales which was really nice. My parents were in Cheshire and most of the Pennine reservoirs were dry. Yes, it was a scorcher ...David Campbell

Bath, UK. I was 7 years old at the time and remember camping out in the back garden for most of the summer as it was so hot. When it finally rained, the whole street came out into their back gardens and jumped up and down and sang. We had one of those swinging hammock chairs that could seat around 4 people. It got soaking wet and my mum was none too pleased. We also had a dog called Dougal (Yorkshire Terrier) who used to love drinking beer. I think it was called Truman or something similar. Great site anyway. Thanks.Chris Godfrey

I was 5 years old in 1976, and I was driven to Brecon with my sisters by my mum and dad to see the great reservoirs completely devoid of water, and all that stretched out in front was cracked brown mud. I didn't know at age 5 the implications of this, and thought that soo much mud was cool. I remember the cracks in the mud where so big my father could fit his foot into them. Hot, remember it so hot, going to Porthcawl for the day, t-shirt off, burnt to a crisp, mum putting loads of lotion on. Happy days.

Fabulous site btw, I have a dedication to the seventies on my site. Thanks for sharing.

Richard Williams

My brother Mick and I started working in the Spencers Arms pub in Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, in Summer of 1976. I had my 21st while working there, March 29th. I can remember how hot in got as the old people not accustomed to the heat were dropping like flies.

Mick and I used to go running in the common opposite the pub to keep fit and the locals reckoned we were crazy aussies bastards. The pub was a Watneys pub and if anyone knows the whereabouts of the then 'governor' Del and his family let me know. Del hailed from Battersea. Chris Peterson

We worked all through that four month long summer in London and well remember a customer who lived in Paignton arriving to collect his order. It was the beginning of August and he told us how bad it was 'down there,' so we told him not to worry, we would be there on Sept 1st and would bring rain with us. He offered to pay for our holiday if we went there and then, but we had too much work booked.

We arrived in Cornwall on the 1st of Sept and it poured with rain on the 2nd. It rained for a week solid, so we dashed back to London and flew to Spain the next day, but guess what, it rained there too.

We still have our 'Cornish Rainmaker' T shirts!Joe Seymour

Standing in the middle of the River Severn at Bewdley, Worcestershire on a fishing trip with a neighbour who I used to go with (when he could tolerate me, well I was only 11). The water only came up to the top of my wellies in the middle! The same spot in the Autumn was twelve feet under just a few weeks .....memories eh ? Martin Flavell

March 29th 1976, I left my job at Vauxhall Motors, Ellesmere Port plant in England. To take a job with British Leyland working in the USA. My first job was working as an MG and Jaguar mechanic in Roanoke, Virginia. The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia was NOT the place for these automobiles.

In 1977, I asked British Leyland for a transfer. They found me a job working in new car sales at British Motors of Sacramento, in California. I came here August 1977 and have been here ever since.

I still own and drive the 1978 MG Midget that I bought brand new on August 10th 1978. Upon my arrival into Sacramento all the music on the radio was The Bee Gees from Saturday Night Fever. The big movie back then was Star Wars. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my memories. Paul R. Lewis

I don't know why, but 1976 has always seemed like a special year. Perhaps it is because it marks the end of an era more precisely than an artificial division by decade alone.

I was thirteen, living in California. I remember that it was the bicentennial year for the U.S. and there being commemorative coins issued for it. I had a friend whose parents were hippies. I remember that they used cigarette ashes to somehow help their plants to grow better and that they didn't flush their toilet after each use (to conserve water I think). Drugs (marijuana and acid) were readily available and may have been sampled by yours truly. I don't remember it being extraordinarily hot in Cali., as it apparently was in England. The following year we got to see Star Wars and my hippie neighbours took us to a "Save the Whales" exhibition/fundraiser. Karen

I entered my senior year of high school in 1976 in the American Midwest. We wore our hair long and shaggy. Bell bottoms and polyester shirts were common. Coors beer was all the rage in my neck of the woods. Everyone drove a beaten up American car; Mustangs and Thunderbirds were considered really cool. Football players were not nearly as big as they are now. Marijuana was everywhere. (Of, course, this was Ann Arbor). Elton John, Neil Young, Bread, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Star Wars, Jesus Christ Superstar were some of my albums. Aaron Selzer

Ann Arbor is a city in the state of Michigan, USA. It is home to Michigan University. In the 60s and 70s it was a centre of liberal politics and student protests against the Vietnam War.

I was 13 in '76 and in the Scouts. That was the year our summer "camp" was actually spent cruising the canals in the midlands on two narrow boats. There was a certain lack of water in some places and we on occasion had to drag the boats off wherever they had run aground. We still managed to find canal side pubs with plenty of beer though (yes, disgraceful at 13 I know ;-) )and it was one of the best summer camps we had.

When the drought ended and the rain fell I remember everyone came out of their houses and just stood there in the rain, such was the relief. Of course within 2 weeks we were back to complaining about it :-) Don

Its the only year I can remember when the pubs actually ran out of lager! Come the end of June, there was no draught lager anywhere! Come the end of July, no draught beer at all, not even Guinness! We survived on bottled beer, orrible! I remember it started to rain again, just after the free concert given by Queen in Hyde Park on Sept 18th, and we then had the wettest autumn on record! Cheers Kevin... Kevin Penfold

I was 11 years old, the summer was so hot I can remember sunbathing in my garden with my record player beside me. My 45's all melted together in the heat. I had gathered them up over of number of weeks with my hard earned pocket money and was devastated when they got ruined in the heat. Still tried to play them even though they were all bent!!!!! Joanne Best

I was 4 and have vague memories of being on a beach, possibly West Wales or Cornwall, and being surrounded by swarms of ladybirds. We had to run to the car to eat our lunch as they were getting into all the sandwiches! Caz

I was 19 and living in London. I remember my flared trousers and platform shoes which I found difficult to walk in. I would listen to the Bee Gees and Abba and went to watch the film Saturday Fever with John Travolta. In the evening I would go to the disco in Hammersmith Palace in Shepperd's Bush. It was too hot to dance though. Victor

What a wonderful year, so full of memories. As said in other memories, getting up early to watch show like Tiswas but being outdoor more often than not. It was so different being a kid then, climbing trees, playing hide and seek etc rather than being stuck in playing on a pc or playstation. Every summer, the tennis rackets came out when Wimbledon was on. Best memory of the summer of 76 were the huge water fights we had in our Avenue. All the kids would gather and water receptacles filled by mum and dads. We used old washing up liquid bottles to fire water at each other !!!!!!! Oh where did the good times go! Fiona

I was nineteen working on the farm riding motorbikes, the weather was hot. Man was it hot. It was a fantastic summer; I got a fantastic suntan. I didn't wear a lot of clothing, neither did the girls. That was cool. It was the only thing that was: hot days and hotter nights. Even at full throttle the wind was still hot, the beer was hot, the water was hot what water we had. I was a true seventies child and loved every minute of it pity it left. Tony or known then as Topcat

I always remember Saturdays as a kid. I was only seven, but I always remember me and my brothers and sisters used to get up early and watch shows like 'Space 1999' and 'Saturday Scene', (Does anyone remember Sally James pre Tiswas?). Another memory was 'World of Sport', especially when the wrestling came on at around 5.00 pm. Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagaski etc etc. My Mum and Dad were glued to it, especially when Big Daddy would stand on the ropes and give his opponent the almighty body splash! Dad would always say 'I wouldn't want him to sit on my toilet!

Also, does anyone remember a show called 'Supersonic'?. It was a bit like 'Top of the Pops', but was shown on ITV every Saturday. I distinctly remember it being post glam with some rather dodgy mid-70's pop acts!" Christine Gregory

I was eight and remember it well, it was great until the corner shop ran out of jubblies Tracy

Being pregnant and too hot and walking to Clifton Suspension Bridge to try and get some air! Driving with the top down in our beaten up frogeye sprite with Pink Floyd playing. Moving to the country and growing our own veg using water siphoned from the bath into a container on a wheelbarrow - it seemed like the longest summer ever....

1976 - The best summer that's ever been. It started in Manchester about the 11th June, cornflower blue skies for weeks on end. I remember a satellite picture of the UK on a news programme showing not one cloud anywhere. I remember having to cancel a hiking trip in the lake district - after getting there we were told that a girl had died from heatstroke - it was just too hot & dangerous - even wearing a cheesecloth shirt! I had a green Triumph Spitfire back then with Pink Floyd & Genesis (Trick of the tail) playing on the 8-Track stereo. A mate of mine sat for 40 minutes in a deckchair on Blackpool promenade and looked like he'd been in a house fire! Anyway, the Kettledrum in Salford had plenty of ice cold Boddington's to refresh us.... how I wish I could go back for a day." Alan Starkie

The most significant thing I can remember about summer 1976, along with the heat, was the overwhelming amount of red lady birds. I was 15 working out in the fields leading corn, when the trailer was filled by the harvester it just looked like a trailer full of ladybirds a complete red out! The like I have never seen to this day. Also around then were a number of small swirling tornados which churned up the turned hay, good times! Eric Tew

I was only three years old, I remember being in Luton Arndale Centre with my Mum. The fountains which were my favourite part of the centre had been switched off and drained of water, which I found very interesting. I'd bought a toy JCB style matchbox digger which I left in the drained fountain and only remembered when I got home... I also remember being scared to bits by Doctor Who getting his leg trapped in a railway point while a train was approaching!

One of the biggest memories from that time for me though is a concept rather than an actual event. This concept was "the vandals". I'd be walking along the street and see some graffiti and ask my Mum who did it. "Vandals must have done it at night" she'd say. Aged 3 I had no idea who or what the vandals were, but I knew they must be bad. To me the vandals lived in a world after dusk somewhere I didn't want to go! I distinctly remember once being on my bike in the street we lived in just before dark and seeing a group of youths at the opposite end of a long alley, too far for me to clearly see them, but I knew I had seen my first glimpse of "the vandals". Terrified I pedalled home on my Raleigh Tomahawk! I discussed this with a friend roughly the same age recently and he had a similar fascination with "the punks"!Geoff

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My fault had huge south facing windows which we wide open. Me and my 6 month old were flaked out on the sofa wearing virtually nothing (I did loosen his terry toling nappy but not off completely as he would have wee’d up the place and I ALWAYS had a bucket full soaking in Fairy Snow with a drop of Milton. can’t

remember if I used napisan then).

I digress! Well, it was as HOT

inside as it was outside. We could not escape the heat. Too hot to even listen to the radio.(WHAT? I know!)


I remember that Summer so well. I was expecting my first baby in July 76. It was so hot in June and July that I had to sit with my hairdryer blowing on cold air to keep me from evaporating. I was big as a house and hot as anything. Happy days

James Eadie
I joined the Army i was 17 and did my training at Southwood Camp Cove, it was hellish training in the heat, we had to fight the forest fires as well, although it was not ideal i wouldn't change it for the world and would go back in an instant, had my first proper adult girlfriend Sandra who was nearly a older than me who passed away in 2003 aged only 45 RIP Sandra you were the love of my life.
18 years old 1976 part exchanged viva hc for 1971 k reg triumph spitfire red think it was 699 pounds loved it good memories sat two in front and one sat behind seat
Richard wall
Wish I could go back tomorrow had a chopper bike in 77 things were so easy then and so much fun had my first bike a garelli tigercross moped in 79 and started my apprenticeship not much money but fab days
Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles ★