WAS she the first female streaker ever witnessed in Glasgow? The lawyer who appeared for the young French woman at the city's Central District Court that early July morning suggested that she might have been. His client, Michelle, had stripped to the waist in front of hundreds of sunbathers in George Square while on her first visit to Glasgow. She was drunk and had done it for a bet of 50 pence.

"It's not quite as good as the Folies Bergere," commented the magistrate as he admonished her on a charge of breach of the peace.

The great heatwave of 1976 was so hot that the tarmac melted.

I remember standing at a bus stop with my mum and seeing the deep gouge caused by her high heels. Students who built a barbecue bonfire on the shore near Kilcreggan made it so large that it melted the buried phone line between Greenock and the Helensburgh district.

The Who and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band topped the bill at a sun-splashed rock concert at Celtic Park in early June. Seven long-haired drugs detectives, each wearing a necklace with a scales of justice motif, mingled with the 35,000-strong crowd. Thirty-three arrests were made for alleged drugs offences.

On Sunday 27 June the heatwave arrived: 22.2C (72F) in Glasgow – the city's first day in several weeks without rain. In Buchanan Street, Glasgow, a menswear store boss moved his desk out on to the pavement. It was just too hot to work indoors. On July 1 Glasgow's temperature soared to a record for the month of 29.5C (86F).

The Evening Times' cartoonist, Willie Gall, drew two Glasgow women melting in the heat. Says one: "Ah bet ye could fry an egg oan that pavement if ye could afford an egg!" Some people did, of course, try to fry eggs on car bonnets.

Next to Gall's cartoon, columnist Cliff Hanley was writing about "the glaring light, the balmy breezes, and the girls in their summer dresses".

On Monday, July 5, two soft-drinks firms reported record sales, shifting 116,000 bottles as their staff worked overtime to keep up. The previous week had seen AG Barr and Co selling more than 400,000 gallons, substantially more than its usual weekly total of 252,000 gallons.

"I do remember the 1976 heatwave," says Glasgow comedian Andy Cameron, "and one Saturday in particular when I was opening a church fete at one o'clock and a lady in the platform party fainted with the heat and three Penguins melted. Fortunately they weren't the birds you find in the Antarctic but the more palatable version made by McDonalds Biscuits [the Glasgow manufacturer who produced the first Penguins].

“The heat was intense that summer and I remember going to the Derby Cafe in Netherlee and tasting, for the first time ever, hot ice-cream. My most vivid memory of that summer was, however, driving up Allison Street in Govanhill and seeing a water hydrant skooshing water a hundred feet into the air and being so hot I stopped the car and stood under it with the weans."

For Liz Coll, of Newton Mearns, Glasgow, 1976 – the year in which she left school – was a time of boys with long hair and unisex Wrangler jeans and T-shirts. "That summer is seared into my memory,” she recalls. “Diving into dark, cool dams and lochs, or running across tide-rippled sand to the sea. Day-trips on ferries to Arran or Rothesay, with the salty sea breeze blowing through your hair and the headiness of young love."

Andy Cumming was 10 years old. "The heat went on for ever and I was out playing the whole time. I only went home when I was hungry or thirsty. Ice-cream, drinks, ice-poles, salad and chips for dinner every night, drowned in salad cream. Because we lived next to Hampden, the European Cup final between Bayern Munich and St Etienne was the most strange thing – having all these continentals in the neighbourhood. We ended up with French fans sleeping in our front room."

By early August, however, Scotland's great summer had eased slightly - but it would be a summer that would never quite be forgotten.