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Skinny Dipping In Regents Canal And 11 Other Pictures Of London's 1911 #Heatwave

17/07/2014 15:29 BST | Updated 18/07/2014 13:59 BST

No air conditioning or chilled drinks cabinets, the Londoners of 1911 had to think of more inventive ways to cool down. Like skinny dipping.

The Edwardians were struck by some of the highest temperatures ever recorded, with a high of 36.7C broken only 79 years later in the 1990 heatwave. It lasted two months, and led to a severe drought throughout August and early September. It makes the paltry 28C recorded in London this week pale into insignificance.

The Times began to run a regular column under the heading "Deaths From Heat". On July 28 a Times reporter noted virtually all greenery had disappeared. "The crannies and rifts in walled Sussex hedgerows where one looks for rare ferns and other treasures hold only handfuls of dry dust," he lamented.

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1911 heatwave