It is okay when I am riding my bike, at least then the air is moving past me and it feels cooler than it really is. It is even sort-of okay in the office, there are a couple dozen fans for the fourteen people who share the floor with me. Even the un-air-conditioned pub is not that bad as the beer makes it seem cooler than it really is. If, however, I had to take the tube today, I'd be dying!
According to the news yesterday, the high temperature in the tube hit 49-degrees (Celsius, that is... 120.2 to those of us still on Fahrenheit) at the warmest part of the day. Pretty damn hot, if you ask me. An interesting statistic is that the maximum temperature at which the UK government will allow the transport of livestock is 37 Celsius. (Which is normal body temperature for us, 98.6.)
I have been in 120 degree heat before, I lived in Albuquerque (New Mexico) for a summer while installing a system in a television station down there once. But (and here comes the cliche) that was a dry heat and did not feel nearly as miserable as it must be in the London Tube! I feel for the transportation workers who have to spend huge swathes of their day down there!
It is bad enough being in the relatively open confines of a former factory that produced ferry boats. The floors are big, the ceilings are high and you can get a pretty good breeze with enough fans. I cannot imagine how bad it must be in the close confines of the Tube! I guess that is the problem with having the world's first subway system! There was no air conditioning back then and retrofitting the Tube would be cost prohibitive.
I can only hope that everyone keeps their cool regardless of how hot they get!
Don Bergquist - 19 July 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK