Sheffield has been sizzling this week. So here we to remember some summers past...
Hot town, summer in the city...
Sheffield has been sizzling of late as the sun does what it’s supposed to at this time of year, and comes out to shine.
Temperatures have been hitting the late 20s, ice cream vans have been doing a roaring trade, and portly men have been shedding their tops.
But if such fine weather feels somehow unseasonable in the UK - even in July and August - just remember it wasn’t always this way. For, in the good old days, just as winters were always colder and harder, so apparently summers were always hotter and longer.
And forget that there’s no scientific records or proof to support this claim, you’ve almost certainly heard your granddad say it, so it must be true.
Now, to celebrate these baking days, Midweek Retro has been into the freezing cold of The Star’s archives and brought out these sun-soaked shots. They’re almost enough to make you want to take your shirt off yourself (please don’t, though).
“There was nothing quite like being a photographer in the summer,” remembers Stuart Hastings, a snapper with The Star for more than 40 years. “You’d be sent out to get some good pictures of people enjoying the weather, and the whole city seemed to have a smile on its face.
“And in Sheffield there’s no shortage of places to enjoy the summer - or to get a good picture. We’re the greenest city in England so you have all the parks - Millhouses, Weston, Hillsborough - as well as the Peak District on your doorstep, and Rother Valley Country Park too. There’s the Peace Gardens which are always full.
“My favourite trick was to buy an ice cream form the van at the bottom of Fargate and give it to a parent for their child. ‘They can have that if they let me smear a bit around their mouth and nose for a photo,’ I’d say. That made some adorable pictures. And the youngster was always to get the ice cream.”
Happy memories, indeed.
But, as our pictures prove, summer wasn’t all that different back then to now. People still liked to get a drink outside, kids still liked to splash in the city centre fountains, and officials still liked to warn of hose pipe bans after a couple of days dry weather.
“Some things never change,” says 67-year-old Stuart, now retired and speaking to Midweek Retro from his Totley garden. “Let’s just hope the weather stays the same for a while.”