Picture Post: Making the most of the very last days of summer

A family plays cricket on the beach at Sandsend. PIC: James Hardisty
A family plays cricket on the beach at Sandsend. PIC: James Hardisty
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Under blue skies and a smattering of white clouds, a family take to the beach at Sandsend for a game of cricket.

This traditional British seaside scene was captured just last week, but with temperatures having dropped in recent days, there’s unlikely to be many more days for bowling on the sands in shorts and T-shirts.

This weekend brought the inevitable mix of weather - some were convinced they had experienced all four seasons in just one day - but don’t believe those who tell you it always rains on a bank holiday.

Matthew Dobson, from the private weather forecasting company MeteoGroup UK, has taken a painstaking look at records for the August bank holiday Monday dating back 30 years to see if there was any truth in the idea that public holidays are always a washout.

He said: “It rained widely across the UK on approximately 10 of these bank holidays and 1986, marred by the passage of ex-Hurricane Charley, produced the wettest August Bank Holiday on record, with 5.3ins rain falling in Aber, Wales.

“However, nine of the last 30 years saw dry weather across approximately half of the UK, but with rain or showers either clearing away in the morning or arriving in the evening across remaining areas. And the rest have been predominantly dry.

“So based on the last 30 years, a soaking is likely just slightly more than one year in every three.”

In fact the summer has treated us pretty well this year. We spent most of July basking in a heat wave, which is why the arrival of winds bringing a cold Arctic blast came as such a shock.

Thermometers plummeted as cold air was dragged from the north and some forecasters mused that the icy overnight temperatures could bring a sprinkling of snow to Scotland.

While the weather has been unseasonally cold, it’s not the first time August has felt more like November. According to records the last time it was this cold in August was way back in 1919 when temperatures rose no higher than 8.9C for four days in both Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Technical details: Nikon D3s, 70-200mm lens, 1/400th @ f8. ISO 400.

Picture: James Hardisty

Words: Sarah Freeman