NEWS

UK Heatwave 2017: How Londoners Have Coped With Scorching Weather Over The Last 200 Years

And there were no bikinis back in the day.

20/06/2017 11:05

The Met Office has issued the second highest heatwave alert for all of Britain as the country endures extreme heat.

The level three amber heatwave warning is one behind a national emergency and has been issued from 9am Monday to 9am Thursday, as forecasters anticipate highs of 33C (91.4F).

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Workers relax in the sun during lunch time in London's Finsbury Square

On Monday the temperature reached 32C (91F) at RAF Northolt, west London.

The capital has seen its fair share of heatwaves throughout history though.

Here’s how Londoners coped with the heat over the past century...

  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Onlookers lean over the bridge to watch people paddling in the Serpentine to cool off during the August 1911 heatwave.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    A group of boys paddling in the fountain at Trafalgar Square to cool off during the heatwave of August 1911.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Men cover their heads with newspapers to protect them from the summer sun in July 1913.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Nannies with their charges under a tree in Kensington Gardens, London, during a heatwave in 1913.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Two clerks remove their jackets as they walk through Hyde Park in London, during the summer heatwave of May 1914.
  • FPG via Getty Images
    Three boys eating and drinking outside their improvised den during a heat wave in Regent's Park, circa 1920.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    A roadman spraying down the dust with water in Temple Gardens, London, during a heat wave, 1925.
  • Davis via Getty Images
    Two young ladies enjoy a cooling summer breeze on the roof of Australia House in London, 1926.
  • Imagno via Getty Images
    A coach horse gets drink from its driver during the big heat wave of 1930.
  • Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Londoners in bathing suits taking advantage of a heat wave at Hyde Park lido in 1933.
  • Imagno via Getty Images
    Four young girls cool off in a London bath, 1935.
  • H. Allen via Getty Images
    Children enjoy a cooling drink from the fountain on Clapham Common in August 1937.
  • George W. Hales via Getty Images
    Two young women in the Embankment Gardens, London, wearing Dolly Varden Sun Bonnets in 1939.
  • George Konig via Getty Images
    A three-year-old boy playing in a fountain, during a heatwave, at Hampton Court Palace gardens, August 1947.
  • Keystone-France via Getty Images
    A queue two miles long of holidaymakers at trying to get the seaside at Victoria station during the heatwave of 1949.
  • Daniel Farson via Getty Images
    Londoners sunbathing in Hyde Park in 1952.
  • Barratts/S&G and Barratts
    Sunbathers sit by the Serpentine at Hyde Park during the heatwave of 1954.
  • PA/PA Archive
    Five thousand people sunbathing in the Serpentine Lido in the sweltering London heat in 1961. At 4pm, the temperature reached 33C, equalling the record of 3rd June 1947.
  • Barratts/S&G and Barratts
    Actress Lillimore Knudsen tries to fry an egg on the rooftop of a building in the London heatwave of 1955.
  • George W. Hales via Getty Images
    Crowds of people at Victoria Station in London waiting for trains to take them on their summer holidays in 1958.
  • Reg Speller via Getty Images
    A group of women sunbathing in a circle at Purley Way Swimming Pool, Croydon, South London, in 1960.
  • PA/PA Archive
    The Oasis swimming pool in Holborn, one of the few cool spots among London's towering office blocks in the summer of 1969.
  • Steve Lewis via Getty Images
    A couple in swimwear on a stroll through a park with their child and his pram, east London, circa 1970. 
  • Douglas Miller via Getty Images
    A little girl making the most of the 29C heat during the July 1971 by paddling in the fountain in London's Trafalgar Square while the adults cooled off their aching feet.
  • PA/PA Archive
    Journalist John Wilson arrives at Fleet Street in shorts and vest as the 1975 heatwave in London continued.
  • Graham Wood via Getty Images
    A Londoner sunbathing in Kensington Gardens with a knotted handkerchief protecting his head from the sunshine in 1976.
  • PA/PA Archive
    The scene at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park as people enjoy the heatwave of 1976.
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