“It was 47.5 Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) for days on end and we did not have air conditioning, let alone electricity,” said Keith Hayden, who responded to a request for stories about the 1939 heat wave.
“I was 17 years old and lived with my fa- ther on our farm outside Narromine. I was working outside in the heat every day as I had to clear a 180 acre paddock of Bathurst burs before Christmas,” recalls Keith. “I can remember it pretty well.”
Keith said green parrots were dropping out of the trees dying of the heat, and the poultry had their wings out and beaks open trying to cool down. “We just had to bear the heat during the day and at night took a cold shower hoping to fall asleep… but the mosquitoes were pretty bad.”
According to Keith it was not a drought. “There were plenty of water and the dams were full. It was just hot.”
Keith served in the air force for more than four years and was based in Parkes before he was posted overseas to several locations. He remembers his time in Parkes fondly.