Will we have a summer like ‘76?

ACCORDING to the media some two thirds of the United Kingdom is now officially suffering a drought.

But, Mr Average sees that the meadows are green, water comes out of his taps when he turns them on, and looking out of the window - it’s raining. Farmers and the water authorities know better.

But are we really going to have a summer like that of 1976?

Those of us who are old enough will have their own memories of that time. Mine was coming in to land at Heathrow; a glance out of the window made me think we were about to land at Benghazi, everything was brown, until I noticed that the trees were green.

Or shall we have the English summer we know and love with howling gales and torrential rain over the bank holidays?

A firm forecast is needed. Remember the saying: “If the oak is out before the ash, then we shall have a splash, but if the ash is before the oak, we will have a soak.”

Keen unbiased observation is required, so I have selected two young trees growing a few yards apart - one oak and one ash. The buds are beginning to swell. Which will be first to open? The Free Press will be the first to know what sort of summer we will have.


Ballingdon Street