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Pedestrians were pictured braving teeming rain on Newcastle Quayside yesterday morning following thunderstorms and heavy rainfall across the region The 41-year high, the highest hottest-ever on the summer solstice, came as parts of Britain swelter in the fifth consecutive day with temperatures above 30C (86F).This is the hottest prolonged spell in June since the drought summer of 1976.Polly Powell, 39, launched the campaign after her son, Jack Pullan, 13, was threatened with detention for taking 'smart shorts' to school in sweltering 86F heat.More than 300 parents added their support to the petition after the incident on Monday, and Ysgol Dyffryn Aman school in Carmarthenshire agreed to change its policy.The message they received read: 'Please be aware school will close on Wed 21 June at 11.30am due to increased heat.Send your child in as normal and collect them at 11.30am.'A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said Andover Cof E is the only authority-run school in the area which planned to close today. At the end of the day they are trying to set an example to the children for real life.'Another parent called the decision 'a bit extreme'.It's up to them; we will still have lessons going on.'And Hounsdown School, a secondary school in Totton in the county, also closed after the dry weather caused a nearby water main to burst.A mother who wrote a petition calling on her son's school to relax uniform rules during the heatwave is jubilant after teachers agreed to her demands.
Elsewhere, Royal Ascot has not enforced its dress code, letting racegoers remove jackets due to 'very hot' conditions, for the first time in its history.Donkeys are hardy animals and they originate from hot climates.'The operator has had numerous enquiries over the years from the RSPCA and they are more then happy that the animals are extremely well looked after.' Sinkholes appeared in roads across the country – with Tarmac melting in Surrey, Cambridge, Manchester and Lancashire.And for the first time in almost 100 years, donkey rides were cancelled at a seaside resort in South Wales as it was too hot for the animals.The heatwave also claimed its fourth victim after a 50-year-old man collapsed and died while hillwalking in the Lake District.