The author Maggie O’Farrell wrote her bestselling novel, Instructions for a Heatwave, while living in Edinburgh, which doesn’t tend to get very hot. But her backdrop was the 1976 scorcher which saw hosepipe bans, a Minister for Drought (Denis Howell) and Brits sweltering in all corners of the country, even Scotland.

This week’s high temperatures seem more south-east centric but the one constant with the 70s — and O’Farrell’s narrative — is that people tend to behave differently when the weather upsets them.

Extreme temperatures call for extreme measures and even Royal Ascot conceded to the heat this week, the hottest day of the year so far, relaxing its strict rules for men’s attire.