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Storms not as bad as predicted

Britain was spared the worst as summer storms swept through the country.

Fears that some places could see flooding and an entire month's rainfall in just one hour turned out to be misplaced.

Although two bands of thundery rain did make their way northwards from the south of England, they brought relatively little disruption.

Racegoers at Derby Day in Epsom who defied the dire forecasts even enjoyed spells of sunshine despite a wet start to the day.

Those attending the opening day of the Parklife Weekender music festival in Manchester's Heaton Park were not so lucky.

Organisers had to postpone the start of the show, headlined by US rapper Snoop Doggy Dog, as staff cleared surface water.

They tweeted: "This is Manchester. A little bit of rain never stopped us from knowing how to party!"

The heaviest downpour was registered in Santon Downham, Suffolk, which saw 0.7in (18.2mm) fall in one hour, followed by 0.6in (16.4mm) falling in Bickley, Worcestershire, the Met Office said.

It fell well short of the 1.2in (30mm) - almost half of the UK monthly average for the whole of June of 2.9in (73.4mm) - which had been forecast as a possibility.

Lightning caused fire and damage to the roof of houses in South Molton, Devon, and Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.

Adverse conditions also caused problems to services connecting Holyhead, in Anglesey, to London, Birmingham and Crewe.

Meanwhile, drivers in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire were warned to beware hazardous driving conditions caused by surface water.

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