July 2006 began with rain, hail and even frost but the temperature would eventually hit 36.5C
It was the hottest day of the hottest month on record – at least until this sweltering summer. I remember it well, because on 19 July 2006, my family and I moved from London to Somerset to begin our new life here.
The month began with what the cynics call “a typical English summer: two fine days followed by a thunderstorm”, and hailstorms across a swathe of the country, from Cornwall to Cumbria. By mid-month the rain had mostly gone, and on clear nights, parts of England experienced ground frost – as far south as the notoriously cold spot of Shawbury in Shropshire.