Published: 14:20, 21 July 2016
It’s been hotter than Hawaii, Greece or Los Angeles in Medway this week and people flocked to the Strand to make the most of the sun.
Families took a dip in the Strand pool to keep cool after Medway Council decided to open the lido as forecasters predicted that temperatures would reach 32C.
The Friends of the Strand Pool, formed after council bosses decided to slash the pool’s opening hours in May, were delighted with the decision to open outside normal hours.
Member Jackie Wright said: “One of our members, Jane Bourne and her husband, were down there on Friday cleaning for the weekend.
“With days like we’ve had people don’t want to go to a heated pool. We’ve very happy they opened it up for visitors.”
The council sparked anger by reducing opening to just weekends until Sunday, July 24, but the pool will be open daily from next week until Sunday, September 4, between 11am to 5pm during the school holidays.
For a number of years the pool has been open from 8.30am to 7pm, seven days a week.
As temperatures soared to the mid-30s Arriva handed out free water bottles to passengers in Medway, Maidstone and Northfleet to help keep them cool.
Simon Baxter, marketing director, said: “Although most of us have been willing the great British summer to arrive, the temperatures this week have been very difficult to travel in and we wanted to ease the situation as best we could.”
“We have a lot of older people and young children using the bus and we know they can be particularly vulnerable during heatwaves.
“We’d like to advise everyone to take extra care until the temperature drops and inform the driver if they are feeling unwell.”
As people grabbed their sunhats and beach towels, public health experts warned people to be prepared as most heat-related deaths happen in the first two days of a heatwave.
Dr James Thallon, medical director for NHS England South East, added: “Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn’t treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and, in some cases, fatal.
“If you or anyone else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest.
“If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, it is important to seek medical help.”
People are also being urged to make sure vulnerable friends and neighbours have enough supplies such as food, water and medication.
We can look forward to more good weather at the weekend - although it won’t be as hot.
The forecasts predict sunny spells and temperatures of around 25C.
More by this authorJade Edwards