Reality Check: at least in terms of temperature, the recent summers have not been far from the long term averages (2007 and 2011 below, 2008 near average, 2009 and 2010 actually above, this year not yet firmly nailed one way or the other). Only when compared to the 1994 to 2006 period could they be termed notably cool.
Even in terms of rainfall and sunshine, I suspect (without know the numbers by heart) that only 2007, 2008 and this year will have been notably dull and wet. I suspect that 2009, 2010 and 2011 may well have had near average amounts of rainfall and sunshine, though I am ready to be corrected.
So, it's not as "incredibly poor" in your terms as you say, but I suspect that many on here do not or cannot remember summers before 1994 and this is where the depression of the last number of years is, at least in part, coming from.
One more thing on temperature (which is the statistic I know more about): It is true that there has been a dearth of warm (>1c above average) summer months since 2006, but there has also still been no return to the notably cool summer months that happened frequently in the past. So, whilst it's 6 years and counting since the last >1c above 61-90 summer month, it's now 19 years and counting since the last >1c below 61-90 summer month
I would agree. I can remember summers from around 1971 and from then until 1993 there was some real shxte. What is different this year is the amount of rain, especially when you factor in April. That has been notable.
There were some pretty decent ones during that era as well though, Dave. How about 1975, 1976, 1983, 1984, 1989 and the second half of 1990 to mentioned a few?