Leeds nostalgia: July 1976: Leeds swelters as rivers run low and temperatures soar

DROUGHT 1976

Julie Greensmith
Fir Tree Green, Moortown, Leeds
DROUGHT 1976 Julie Greensmith Fir Tree Green, Moortown, Leeds
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Julie Greensmith, of Fir Tree Green, Moortown, pictured at a standpipe which was being tested outside her home.

The UK was in the grip of a heatwave. On Thursday July 1, the YEP reported the River Wharfe had “been reduced to a trickle”.

The river, which was used as a temporary water supply for Leeds, had dropped to just three inches in places - that was according to Harold Brady, subpostmaster at Arthington, near Otley.

He said: “The level of water in the mile section at Atrthington is the lowest in living memory. I think you have to go back about 100 years to find the river so low.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water in Leeds said only when reservoir levels dropped below 40 per cent would “selective pressure reductions” be introduced.

There was already a hosepipe ban in place, not that it stopped garden staff in Harrogate from using one to water some flowers on the Prince of Wales roundabout, an incident which caused Coun Diedre Davies to rant: “I know we are entering a Britain in Bloom but it is a little hard when householders are told not to use hosepipes but the council can.”

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