Greengates Builders Merchants

Rain,Rain, Go Away!

This time last year former environment secretary Caroline Spelman had just declared parts of the country were in drought. A big one too; predicted to be the worst for 124 years.


Hosepipe bans had been announced which were to affect 22 million people over the southeast and east of England and we were told to expect dried-up riverbeds and depleted reservoirs.

Horti­cul­tu­rists were even suggesting we all consider cacti in our gardens while Spelman appealed to us to be careful every time we turned on the tap.

Barely was the hosepipe ban announced than it started to rain. And rain and rain and rain and rain and rain.

In April last year more than twice the average rainfall fell on the UK and it didn't stop there. June was the wettest since records began and the country's drought warnings started to be replaced by flood warnings. Spelman observed dryly: "I could be deluded into thinking I had the power to make it rain."

BY JUNE Thames Water lifted its hosepipe ban (no one had been prosecuted) and it poured down relentlessly over the extended Diamond Jubilee weekend with thousands of bystanders and even the Queen and Prince Philip getting soaked during the River Thames pageant.

By July several outdoor gigs had to be cancelled, including a Hyde Park concert that was to feature Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan reuniting for the first time in 20 years.

And while reservoirs and rivers were filled the serious drawbacks of all the rain were easy to behold as families had to be evacuated from flooded homes.

Envi­ron­mental Agency issued 200,000 flood warnings while insurance companies estimated that the cost of the flooding was thought to reach £13billion.

Farmers pointed to the worst growing conditions for three decades as a result of delayed harvests caused by waterlogged fields.

The Met Office says rainfall has increased by two per cent annually since 2010 and by five per cent since 1990, while five of the wettest years since 1910 have occurred in the 21st century.

“But statistics say we have to have a scorching summer before 2020 so is this year going to be it!” asks Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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