Struggling in Sheffield’s record heat? Spare a thought for those who have it hotter

Frazzled by Sheffield’s record heat? Spare a thought for the street vendors, hairdressers, roofers and firefighters who have it even hotter.

Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 4:41 pm

​​​​​​While most people took refuge from the extreme temperatures - a new city record of 38.9C was set at 3pm on Tuesday - others had to soldier on, often in even worse conditions.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue posted a picture of a firefighter bathed in sweat with the message: ‘When we say it’s tough out there for our firefighters, we aren’t joking…’

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Ice cream seller Gabriella Earl clutches a frozen water bottle.

Supporter Paul Martin wrote: ‘A big thank you. I really feel for the emergency services in this weather with their protective kit on. Don't even mention your breathing apparatus. Hope you don't need them. be safe everyone.’

In Sheffield city centre, ice cream vendor Gabriella Earl was sweltering in her van due to heat from the machines. It was too hot for slush because the ice had melted, she said.

But she had a large frozen bottle of water to hug, fans, silver foil on windows and regular breaks.

Vapes and phone accessory vendors Deep, right, and Armeet Dhall were the only market stall on The Moor.

She added: “The owners really look after us.”

City Centre Ambassador Nigel Pipes was watching over the Peace Gardens and shooing people out of the slippery waterfalls and over to the fountains.

He said: “I used to like the sun but can’t take it any more. Fortunately we haven’t had any casualties.”

Vapes and phone accessory vendors Deep and Armeet Dhall were the only market stall on The Moor.

Toni and Guy hairdresser Sophie Kippax said blow drying was extra hot but they were still busy.

The council had waived compulsory charges on Monday and Tuesday and everyone else had stayed away, they said.

“Today’s been the worst because of the temperature. It’s not been busy but it’s been worth it. If we closed we could lose a lot of customers because competition is high.”

Street vendor Mamadou Sene was sticking to the shade outside Marks and Spencer on Fargate. Business selling hats, badges and gifts was ‘very slow’.

City Centre Ambassador Nigel Pipes used to like the sun.

He added: “I don’t want to get sun stroke. Even though I was born in Africa it doesn’t mean I can stay in the sun all day. It’s not good for anyone.”

Darren Franks of AMROC heating services was working on the roof of a building under construction - until bosses said they could go.

He said: “We can’t wear shorts for safety reasons. It’s been awful the last two days. We bought a cool box for drinks.”

Toni and Guy hairdresser Sophie Kippax was taking a break outside the salon on Pinstone Street.

She said: “It’s hot when we’re blow drying but people still want to have their hair done. We’ve been busy today with graduations.”

Street vendor Mamadou Sene said business selling hats, badges and gifts was ‘very slow’.

A South Yorkshire police spokeswoman said the force had relaxed its uniform policy to permit short sleeves and ties to be removed.

And she thanked people offering refreshments.

“We are extremely grateful to the members of the public who have kindly offered our officers bottles of water, ice lollies and other cooling refreshments today – it is hugely appreciated.”

On Tuesday, the temperature beat Monday's record of 36.1C, with temperatures rising above 37C for the first time in history, going on to reach 38.9C at 3pm according to Weston Park Weather station. The previous record was 35.6C on July 25, 2019.

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A sweat bathed firefighter.
People stuck to the shade on The Moor.
Darren Franks, left, said working on a roof in the sun was 'awful'.