THOUSANDS of beachgoers descended upon Southend to make the most of a Bank Holiday heatwave.

The seafront was flooded with people on Saturday and Sunday, as south-easterly winds brought warm air from Europe to the UK.

Temperatures reaches highs of 32C yesterday with them potentially reaching up to 33C today.

A new record temperature for the late August bank holiday weekend, 32.7C, was reached at Heathrow yesterday. This beat the previous record of 31.5 degrees, also at Heathrow Airport in 2001.

Rachel Morris, 41, took her two sons aged four and seven to the beach.

She said: “It was boiling all day but we didn’t mind, it was such a great atmosphere. Everyone was being really friendly, it was busy but not so much that you couldn’t enjoy it.

“It’s days like this when you can really appreciate just how great Southend is as a place to visit. We’re really privileged to have such a great beach and pier and need to care for it.”

However, not all of the day went smoothly, as the variable message signs used to tell people how many spaces were available in council run car parks stopped working during the afternoon.

Southend resident Paul Thompson called on the council to fix the problem on social media.

He said it caused “highways chaos”.

Speaking to the Echo, he said: “Equipment and machinery goes wrong all the time, so these things happen. The problem with the officers at SBC is they don’t do any basic monitoring or checks to ensure the VMs signs are working. No senior management working from 4pm Friday until 10.30am Tuesday.”

A Southend Council spokesman said the VMS system went down temporarily and was reset by officers as soon as they were made aware. It was restored by 7pm.

The A127 was gridlocked Southend-bound all the way to Basildon as sun seekers fled the city for the coast.