RETRO: A brolly good show

Umbrellas - 2nd August 1984'Rain
Umbrellas - 2nd August 1984'Rain
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There’s a European joke that in England you can always predict the weather: If it’s not raining yet, it soon will be.

And the winters are even more miserable.

Picture shows some of the many visitors to the 133rd Bakewell Show trying to keep dry during one of the many downpours today - 2nd August 1984 Rain Umbrella

Picture shows some of the many visitors to the 133rd Bakewell Show trying to keep dry during one of the many downpours today - 2nd August 1984 Rain Umbrella

We live in a rain-sodden land.

Our geography - a fortress island on the north-western edge of Europe - may have once helped this country become the greatest power the world had ever known.

But it also means organising a simple summer time barbecue becomes a game of Russian roulette.

How many of us have ended a balmy sunny evening by ushering guests into the living room while making comments about how good the downpour will be for the garden.

Still, it keeps life interesting.

And, in honour of this wet weather, Tuesday Retro today continues our A-Z of hobbies enjoyed in South Yorkshire with: U is for, er, using an umbrella.

What? You don’t think it’s a hobby? You think we’re scraping the barrel? Just wait until we get to Z, my friend.

But, anyway, let’s be honest – having a brolly makes braving the cats and dogs a lot more bearable than going out without one.

“Umbrellas are totally one of the best things ever invented,” says Emma Jepson, aged 27, a fond brolly-user of Heeley.

“It’s basically a portable roof. It’s genius. I believe they have been used in England since 1700 - that’s what it says on Wikipedia anyway.

“Do I enjoy using one? Well, no, obviously not. But they come in handy sometimes.”

They certainly do, as these pictures show.

Allow us to draw particular attention to the one taken by Star photographers in August 1984 in Fargate. It’s teeming down. That was the first day of a hose pipe ban. Oh, the irony.

“Fingers crossed we have a better summer this year,” says Emma.