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Christmas crackers go on sale as Britain roasts in record 36C temperatures

CHRISTMAS crackers are already on sale as Britain roasts in record 36C temperatures.

Sweltering shoppers were stunned to see festive items piled 6ft-high at a garden centre in Chessington, Surrey.

Much of Britain on Wednesday continued to bask in up to 36C heat, while some areas have been without water for five days.

But with another 134 days still to go, Christmas crackers and cards were 6ft-high at Chessington Garden Centre in Surrey.

Shopper Yesim Mitchell said: “It literally is crackers. It’s roasting. I know it gets earlier every year but this is just madness. 

“Some people haven’t had a summer holiday yet. They haven’t got Halloween stuff on display which is two months earlier.” 

Unseasonal products up for grabs on Wednesday included a box of £9.99 crackers called “Race to Santa’s Workshop”.

Store manager Jolyon Martin said: “They’re out on the shop floor because it takes a long time to get these lines up and running — though I admit the timing with the hot weather isn’t that good. At the moment we only have crackers and cards out for sale. They aren’t flying off the shelves. 

“We have had comments both positive and negative about them.”

Christian Concern chief executive Andrea Williams said: “It may feel a bit crackers but in these unusual times we’re all looking forward to some Christmas cheer.”

Personal finance experts also believe summer is the time to start Xmas shopping. Salman Haqqi, of money.co.uk, said: “It helps spread the cost.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of homes across villages in mid-Sussex have been without water since last Friday after supplies dried up. Tankers have been brought in but one resident said: “It’s 34 degrees and we can’t shower, flush our toilets, wash clothes.”

South East Water apologised and was working “24/7” to meet demand.     

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