AFTER weeks of seemingly endless rain, Swindon is finally to get its summer weather at the weekend – much to the delight of gardeners and schoolchildren.
Forecasters predict that after the wettest April and the wettest April to June period on record, the normal dry, sunny conditions will start to return tomorrow.
The cause of the wet summer has been the unusually southerly location of the jet stream, a high-altitude belt of wind. This is expected to move northwards soon, resulting in normal conditions.
Among those pleased with the news are gardeners and allotment owners, whose plants and vegetables have suffered in the deluge.
John Aldridge, the chairman of the Swindon Allotments and Leisure Gardens’ Association, said: “I’m delighted because, quite frankly, my garden and many others are a complete wash-out this year with so much rain.
“Everything we grow seems to provide food for the slugs and snails. “They eat it all before we can make use of it.”
The 83-year-old, of Somerset Road, Rodbourne Cheney, who has been gardening for about 70 years, said he could not remember a summer so bad for gardening.
“It’s very pleasing to see it might be improving, we need lots of sunshine,” he said.
“Beans and peas, , for example, need pollinating by bees and insects and I go out in the garden and see none of them – they need sunshine to bring them out.” And for the parents of schoolchildren, many of whom finish school today but officially start their six-week summer holiday next Tuesday, it is also welcome news.
Mum-of-one Sally Nunan, 42, of Sycamore Grove, Pinehurst , said: “It will be perfect if it does improve. “The kids will absolutely love it, and also the parents will, because what do you do if it’s pouring with rain for six weeks?
“It would cost an arm and a leg, we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere or do anything other than indoor attractions, and that will cost.”
A Met Office spokesman said: “Saturday is the day when we will start to see a day with no rain, which would be nice. “Generally speaking, it will be dry with a few bright sunny spells on Saturday.
“I think temperatures are going to be 19-20 degrees celsius.
“Sunday should be a generally bright and sunny day almost all the way through, with light winds and temperatures in the low 20s.
“And those kind of conditions are going to continue through to the middle part of next week. “It looks like we’re getting a little bit of cloud pushing itself through from the north from Wednesday onwards.”
Fun in the sun
THE sunny, dry weather is good news for the hundreds expected to attend events in Wiltshire over the next two weekends.
A free family fun day is due to be held at Queen’s Park on Sunday from 11.45am to 5pm.
The day is a celebration of Swindon’s hidden environmental jewel and the community, with all money raised being ploughed back into community projects.
Music will be hosted by Ron Travolta, of radio station 105.5, and the acts include pop singer Elliot, Elvis (alias Bobby B) and the Nathan Jones Allstars Jazz Band.
There will be a 100m Olympic event, with fun races for adults and children.
Other attractions include vintage cars, a recycling box swap, a bouncy castle, Swindon Bonsai Club, face-painting, competitions and game, and stalls.
The annual Festival On The Farm, due to take place this weekend, has been cancelled due to the rain. But the bands are due to put on a small music festival, at Riffs Bar, Hook, from today until Sunday.
It will raise money for the festival’s three charities: Goldenhar Family Support Group, Purton Helping Hand, and the Your Day Foundation.
Tickets are available from www.festivalonthefarm.co.uk or www.riffsbar.com
The following weekend, international music festival, WOMAD will mark its 30th anniversary at Charlton Park, Malmesbury. Many big names have already been announced, including Sensational
Space Shifters, Jimmy Cliff, Hugh Masekela and Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.
For details visit www.womad.co.uk .