TEMPERATURES are expected to return to normal from today with forecasters giving a daytime range of 13-20 degrees Celsius for the Spalding area.
Amateur weatherman and Deeping St Nicholas farmer Nicholas Watts recorded four days in a row where the mercury soared to 28C – from Thursday to Sunday inclusive.
In 40 years of record keeping, the October temperatures were the highest he’s ever seen – beating the previous best in 1985 by one degree.
Scores of South Holland and South Kesteven residents headed to the coast at the weekend and those who stayed at home made it a weekend to remember for many traders, including supermarkets who did a brisk trade in booze, butchers who sold cold meats for picnics, ice cream parlours who saw up to six times as many visitors and pubs who did a roaring trade in fruit flavoured ciders.
Judith Snowden, who manages Laddies ice cream parlour in Holbeach, said: “Ice cream sales were about three times up over an average October weekend and lollies were six times up.
“It was manic. We had people queued around the shop, out of the door and down the road at one point on Sunday afternoon.”
The shop came close to a sell-out and made an emergency batch of ice cream yesterday to replenish stocks.
Spalding pub The Punchbowl was one of many enjoying a busy weekend.
Landlord Pete Williams said the top tipple was fruit-flavoured cider over ice.
He said New Road bar Bentley’s and the Crystal Inn restaurant had also had “a fantastic bumper weekend”.
Mr Williams added: “Hopefully the good weather will keep people in the habit of coming out and enjoying themselves – they have really enjoyed this weekend.”
Roads around King’s Lynn were gridlocked at times as weekend travellers headed for Hunstanton and other Norfolk beaches.
Bus company Norfolk Green reported more passengers than usual using the Spalding to King’s Lynn 505 route and boss Ben Colson said extra buses – and bigger buses than normal – were laid on for the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton service.
Mr Watts said the temperature in October has exceeded 20C in 22 years out of the last 40. In 11 years the higher temperatures have been recorded on the 11th and 12th of the month. In 1986 – from October 3 onwards – there were six days in a row where the mercury hit 20C or more.
Gravesend in Kent was Britain’s hottest spot on Saturday with an all-time best October temperature of 29.5C.
• TEMPERATURES are expected to return to normal from today with forecasters giving a daytime range of 13-20 degrees Celsius for the Spalding area.
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