Tanning salon hopes for rain

The heatwave may have taken a short summer break, but the boiling temperatures have made their mark on life in Peterborough over the past six weeks.

Sunday, 5th August 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:13 pm
Kornelija Petrokiene (dark dress) and Sandra Eitmoniene (light dress) owners of the Helios tanning and beauty studio at the Pyramid shopping centre. EMN-180730-150945009

The heatwave may have taken a short summer break, but the boiling temperatures have made their mark on life in Peterborough over the past six weeks.

As the mercury soared into the 30s for day after day, record crowds dived into the Lido to keep cool, with 28,000 visits to the outdoor pool this year. The previous record for an entire summer was 21,000.

Lifeguards at a packed Lido were not the only workers being kept busy during the hot weather.

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Cambridgeshire police said the number of burglaries reported in the city had risen as crooks climbed through open windows to steal what they could.

Detective Sergeant Mark Plitsch said: “We understand the need to open up doors and windows in this very hot weather, however we need residents to do their bit by making it more difficult for burglars and also report any suspicious activity.

“Our advice is to keep doors and windows closed if you are not in that room and make sure you close and lock them when you leave the house. All it takes is a few seconds for a burglar to reach inside an open window and take a set of car keys for example, or enter your home through an open patio door while you’re upstairs.”

Nene Valley Railway (NVR) also had problems during the hot weather, and had to cancel stem train trips.

Jerry Thurston, from NVR said: “Six weeks ago we ran a steam loco on the line, and there were a couple of small, lineside fires. We dealt with them, but decided we had to stop running. With such high temperatures, we could’nt risk setting farmers fields on fire.

“The temperatures for the footplate crew are also very high - getting up to 150C, and it would be beyond uncomfortable - it would almost be hazardous conditions in 35 degree heat.

“Now it has been a bit wetter, and is cooler and the crops have been harvested. We will keep an eye on the weather, but we can start running steam trains again from Sunday.”

Since the hot weather started, Nene Valley Railway have been running heritage diesel locomotives, and Jerry said: “We have enjoyed the chance to get the diesels out, but it will be nice to bring the steam trains back out for the summer holidays.”

On Sunday, Locomotive ‘92 Squadron’ is set to pull a four train service departing from Wansford station at 10am, 11.45 am, 1.30pm and 3.15pm.

Farmers have also been badly hit by the weather, with crops and livestock struggling in the high temperatures.

George Greenock, of rural insurance specialists Lycetts, said the searing heat and a lack of rain in recent months is taking its toll on farmers, who are increasingly faced with animal welfare issues, crop failure concerns and wildfire risks.

He said: “Farmers are hurtling towards a crisis point.

“We have not seen weather like this in decades, and although people up and down the country are enjoying a break from the gloomy British summertime, it is sinking in that such unrelenting hot weather can have dire consequences, evidenced by public health warnings.

“Farmers have been battling to survive during this heatwave, faced with drought conditions, tinderbox fields, and livestock they can’t feed – they are growing increasingly desperate with every day.

“Crop yields are down at least 10 per cent, due to the dryness. Crops stopped growing six weeks ago, resulting in food shortages for livestock and poor harvests.

“There is no grass for cows to graze and farmers are being forced to use their winter stocks – which are already low – to keep them going. “

“This paves the way for a very challenging six months ahead.”

Tanning salon hopes for rain

While the warm weather has kept many busy in Peterborough, for one new business it has proved a disaster.

The Helios Tanning and Beauty Salon opened at the Pyramid Centre in Bretton on June 15 after Kornelija Petrokiene and Sandra Eitmoniene spent thousands setting up the business.

But the heatwave has meant while the beauty side has been busy, only a handful of customers have used the tanning facilities.

Kornelija said:” People have been coming in and asking about prices, but they have then said they will be back in the autumn when the heatwave has ended.

“The heatwave started one week after we opened.

“We put £30,000 into the business, and the heatwave came at the worst time possible for us.

“Some days we have had no customers for the tanning salon, while on others we have only had one or two.

“It has been a bit better since we had some rain, but we could do with it cooling down a bit.

“It is the first time we have opened a new business and it has been difficult. The beauty side has been busy, but we could really do with sone rain for the tanning side.”

The salon is open seven days a week.

Rain is welcomed at Ferry Meadows

The wet weather was welcomed by rangers and managers at Nene Park - which included Ferry Meadows.

Visitors to the park had been warned about blue green algae in lakes at the park - the algae is toxic to dogs and cats - and despite the Environment Agency giving the park the all clear, visitors are still being advised to keep pets out of the lakes through the summer in case it does form.

Park manager Greg Higby said: “When the weather is warm, and the water in the lakes is still, there is always a risk of blue green algae. The tests came back on Monday, and we do not have any this year - we have had some in the past - but until the weather turns, we would advise that pets stay out of the lakes.”

The rain has been welcomed by the rangers, not just to prevent the algae forming, but also for the meadows in the park.

Mr Higby said: “The meadows are so dry, and we have lots of long grass.

“We have had plenty of people coming to the park this year - sometimes with hot weather we see fewer people visiting. Lots of people have been having barbecues, but everyone has been enjoying them safely, so we have had no issues with fires.”