Sheffield weather: Remembering the long hot summer of 1976

With last weekend's temperatures reaching 30 degrees like many of a certain age I was transported back to 1976, one of the most memorable summers in the last 50 years.

By Errol Edwards
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:04 pm

Due to the slum clearance of the 70s - a phrase I’ve never liked, these were people's homes and communities, we had to leave our home on Petre Street and move to the Norwood area of Sheffield.

These were quite exciting times for many moving home, sometimes in a different part of the city.

I’m also sure for many it had the opposite effect, looking back it was normal for many to live with a few doors of grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins, this was ended by a swing of the wrecking ball.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Longley Swimming Pool

Moving into a home with indoor bathrooms,and hot running water -amazing.

This was a great adventure for myself, and siblings.

Growing up in the inner city, parks and woodland weren’t readily available to us without a long walk or bus ride.

Moving to Norwood put us on the doorstep of Longley park and Roe woods.

Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United water polo match, Longley Park, Sheffield, 1951 left Alan Brown, 3rd from left Ron Capewell, 4th from left Walt Ricketts, Derek Dooley, Eric Pratt , Fred Furniss, Harry Latham,Len Hopkinson and Bill Eason

I also left my school Burngreave Middle and moved to Herries Comprehensive, so many changes were taking place in a short space of time.

When we moved, the weather was fabulous, though to children of our age, all summers were long and hot.

1976 turned out to be an iconic year, although we didn’t know it at the time, the news was full of water shortages and standpipes, plagues of green fly and ladybirds, we just loved that it was sunny and warm.

We would go into the woods and collect blackberries and make milkshakes, they were lovely.

I never really followed cricket , however my dad loved cricket, and it seemed to be on all that summer.

England were playing the West Indies, in a five series test, and England were getting hammered, the press labelled it the ‘Black wash!’

I didn’t follow cricket so I only dipped in and out.

Some of the names I remembered were the West Indies Captain Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards,and Micheal Holding , and England Tony Greig, Bob Woolmer, Derek Randall, suffice to say England were soundly beaten ,the only Test series I really remember.

Longley park was just down the road from our new home, great open spaces with the most uneven football pitches in the world.

It was our space,all the kids from Longley had ownership of the park, although the kids from Firth Park and Sheffield lane top had different ideas.

We would argue about this during the six week holidays , chasing each other around the park, we would chase them up the hill, and they would chase us back down,each group running fast enough not to get caught.

Although it had terrible football pitches, it did have its own outdoor swimming pool.

The swimming baths were just on our doorstep in the longest, hottest summer of a generation.

Previous to that we would have to take the bus to Millhouses Lido, also another fabulous facility.

Although different places, with different facilities the one thing they had in common was the water temperature , even on the hottest days, the water was freezing.

76 was a great summer, boiling hot sun, and freezing cold water.