12:14PM, Thursday 18 July 2013
Temperatures soared to 31.8C in Maidenhead yesterday making it the hottest day on record since 2006 and the second hottest town in the country.
It marked the fourteenth consecutive day that daytime temperatures reached at least 23C, with Saturday seeing temperatures rise above 30C.
A persistent area of high pressure looks set to stay over the area during the coming weekend, although temperatures look set to dip slightly.
It’s not just sunbathers who have been reaping the benefits of the heatwave, businesses have also been profiting from increased outdoor activity and a burst of summer spending.
The Magnet Leisure Centre has seen lunchtime activity increase in its gym facilities, with a member of staff commenting: “The development of air conditioning in the gym two years ago has paid dividends”.
So too has the pool seen more activity, requiring additional lifeguards to be called in at short notice as people cool off in the water.
Cafes have seen business rise sharply, with Ray Mill Island, Kidwells Park and the Moor inundated with sun worshippers and picnickers in the longest heatwave since July 2006.
Despite increased benefits for some businesses however, there are others who have lost out.
The Suntan Shop on Maidenhead’s High Street has seen takings fall by more than half since the end of last week, with lunchtime activity falling as people go to the parks rather than the sunbeds.
Despite predictions that the heatwave will continue, Thames Valley Water have said they do not have plans to introduce a hosepipe ban. Aside from problems of low pressure at peak times due to demand facilities are operating as normal.
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