Northern Ireland weather: We might be baking in high temperatures but Gerry Ramsey is keeping his shirt on

The heatwave that NI had been anticipating finally arrived today, and while it brought people out to local beauty spots in big numbers, Gerry Ramsey wasn’t in any rush to take his shirt off.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 18th July 2022, 3:25 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 4:25 pm

Gerry, who went for a walk at Crawfordsburn beach along with his wife of 54 years, Roberta, compared the heat to that on the west coast of America.

He said: “The hottest place we’ve been is California. The heat now isn’t all that different, this difference is you get sun there 340 days a year.”

Roberta said: “We live in Bangor and would come here all the time. We stick to the path, when we were younger we’d have gone down onto the beach.”

Gerry Ramsey and his wife Roberta have been walking along the beach in Crawfordsburn for around 50 years

Gerry added: “We’ve been walking along here this 40 or 50 years. We’d come all year round, in all weathers, but the weather right now is exceptional.”

“On a day like this you can’t not come,” said Roberta.

“But the shirt’s still on,” said her husband, who went on to explain that he doesn’t like to get his arms burnt.

“As soon as people see the sun the smiles come back,” said Gerry.

Friends Eleanor Smith and Anna Wylie came from Newtownards and Fermanagh to enjoy a day at the seaside at Crawfordsburn beach

Friends Eleanor Smith and Anna Wylie chose Crawfordsburn as their meeting spot today.

Eleanor said: “It’s nice to see so many families out.

“It’s a beautiful day when you’re here at the beach, you’ve a nice breeze and you can go in for a dip, but if you’re in a town or city it wouldn’t be good.

“Years ago when I was in Greece it was 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). That was really unbearable.”

Melissa Nicol with her dog Louis and her parents' dogs Joey and Poppy

Eleanor said: “Crawfordsburn is close for me, I’m from Newtownards, she has come up from the Lakes.”

Anna said: “I came up from Fermanagh this morning. Most people are going the other way.”

With temperatures soaring, dog owners have to keep a careful eye on their pets who can overheat very quickly.

The News Letter spoke to several owners at Crawfordsburn beach and asked what they’d been doing to keep their animals chilled.

Leo feels the value of a wet towel as temperatures soar at Crawfordsburn beach

Melissa Nicol, who came up from Kilcooley in Bangor, was on the beach with her whipper Louis and her parents dogs Joey and Poppy.

She said: “We only take them out quickly then get them back to the house.

“As long as they’ve got their water and shade they’re alright.

“You just need to watch in case it gets a bit too hot. Poppy really feels the heat.

“We don’t take them out for long when it’s as hot as this. Just a quick play, a dip in the sea, then home.”

Chris Osborne and Lydia O’Kane, who had travelled from east Belfast, were with their four-year-old French Mastiff Leo who was relaxing under a soaked towel.

Paul Bell and his dog Teddy cool off in the sea

Chris said: “This would be the hottest he’s experienced. We had the heatwave last year but this feels hotter.

“We wanted to take him somewhere where there’s water, but not too deep. Somewhere not too busy, so we came to the quiet part of the beach here.

“Going in and out of the ocean has helped. He’s had a litre and a half of water to himself. He’s just chilling.”

Teresa and Paul Bell made the impromptu trip to the seaside with their son Joe and four-year-old cockpoo Teddy.

“Teddy likes to swim so that keeps him cool,” said Teresa.

“This is the hottest it’s been for quite some time.

“You have to make sure dogs stay hydrated. Cold water is always best.”