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I'm on the Swanscombe peninsula, a few miles east of London,
on the south bank of the Thames.
And this is notable for a couple of reasons
I mean, it just looks like a desolate brownfield site
and I guess it is.
But it's also the warmest point in the UK.
Officially. Seriously. I mean, not right now; it's the middle of December,
but all the record temperatures that have ever been recorded in the UK,
the famous 38°C, 101°F,
that was once recorded came from that weather station behind me.
It's an official Met Office weather station.
If you have a look online,
you'll see that meteorologists are having a bit of a debate about it.
Weather stations like that,
the official ones, behind a Stevenson screen, as they're called,
are meant to filter out any kind of external influence.
They're not meant to be in the middle of a microclimate
for proper temperature records.
Well, there's some debate that this is.
It's surrounded by earth on three sides,
there's industrial activity, docks, and a sewage plant,
all of which could raise the temperature.
And, well, there's a Port of London Authority radar next to it,
and if you believe the conspiracy theorists online,
and say "They've caught the Met Office in a lie,
that radar could be warming up the sensors"
Obviously, it's not, but, nevertheless
there's some question as to whether this is actually the warmest site
in Gravesend, as it's known.
Or, whether they've just put the weather station in a slightly wrong place.
But there's something more important about this site.
This whole area, this whole peninsula,
it doesn't look big on a map
but I've just spent a muddy mile and a bit walking here, and
yeah... it's big, because this will be the site,
if all goes well, of the coming Paramount London theme park,
the one that, this week, announced it's signed a deal with the BBC
in order to license Top Gear, Doctor Who,
and a load of other TV shows.
So, in 5-6 years' time,
I might be walking down here on a nicely paved path,
with people screaming as they ride rollercoasters
and laughing as they have a go on the TARDIS.
It's going to be quite different in 5 or 6 years' time
if it all goes well, and this weather station
will probably have to be moved.
So, if the temperature in London seems to drop officially in a few years' time,
perhaps it has,
or, more likely, perhaps they've moved this weather station
to make way for The Doctor.
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