Summer barbecue trade hit as wash-out set to continue
ANOTHER month, another wash-out.
With everyone — even ducks presumably — glad to see the back of the wettest June on record, July has started off just as depressingly.
The Met Office says a record 145.3mm of rain fell on the country last month — more than twice as much as normally expected — and that we should brace ourselves for another "unsettled" month.
School sports days across the area have been rained off and now another tradition of the great British summer is under threat — the barbecue.
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With all the rain there is no need to throw another shrimp on the barbie . . . pretty soon they will be able to swim on to it themselves.
Pontardawe-based family butcher, Bleddyn Howells, agreed the record rainfall was having an affect on the traditional summer's meat for barbecues trade.
"I have been here for 16 years and I have never known anything like it," he said.
"June, July and August is traditionally barbecue season.
''I usually do a great trade in BBQ specials. I'll put together a selection of sausages, chicken pieces, lamb chops and steak in a pack, but last month, with all the rain, it definitely affected sales."
Mark Litchfield, supervisor of Woollacott's Butcher's in Newton, has also seen barbecue meat sales drop.
He said: "There has been a dramatic loss in the business, it has been very poor."
One person left frustrated at the lack of any sizzling sun is Josh Welch, 23, from Briton Ferry, who said: "I bought a barbecue at the beginning of the year but I have not had the opportunity to use it yet."
He and the butchers are all keeping their fingers crossed for some sunny days in Swansea.
You may think that one of the few silver linings to come out of all these dark rain clouds is that it will save the council having to go around and water the masses of flowers dotted around the city.
A spokesman for the council said: "Our teams do still need to water hanging baskets during wet periods due to the canopy of the plants deflecting the rainfall off the basket.
"The water also includes feed to boost our flowering plants."
The Met Office has issued a warning of "heavy and persistent rain" for today and tomorrow morning while Environment Agency Wales is advising people to be alert for disruption from possible flooding.
A spokesman for the agency said: "Following recent heavy rain across many parts of Wales, the ground remains saturated which increases the risk of flooding.
"Heavy rainfall could cause rivers to respond and rise quickly and also lead to surface water flooding from drains and small streams.
"The agency strongly advises people not to walk or drive through any flooding and to steer clear of fast flowing water as it can be particularly hazardous."