1987 – when little Liam was not impressed by folk dancers

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The weather may have been less then inspirational so far this summer but in 1987 the sun was out, the sky was blue and there were fun events aplenty.

Crawley Festival was still in its early years, and its High Street Fair saw the town packed with revellers.

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There was music and dancing, the hurling of soggy sponges at people in the stocks, competitions, stalls and one strange lady who came dressed as a duck.

The mayor, Councillor Tom Bowden, was joined by Herr Heinz Ritter, burgermeister of Crawley’s twin town, Dorsten, to unveil a plaque marking the 40th anniversary of the creation of the new town and the 100th anniversary of the planting of the Jubilee Oak.

There was so much going on, the party spilled over into Queens Square.

These pictures were published in the Observer on July 1 1987 – and the best of them must be little Liam Preston, who was 21 months old and totally unimpressed by some of the folk dancing his mum had made him watch.

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Over at Rathlin Road play centre, in Broadfield, youngsters from the town’s 11 adventure playgrounds and play centres took part in their own sports competition.

In teams of 10 they raced against each other in sack races, a variety of games involving hoops and a contest called Jolly Hockey Sticks, that involved pushing footballs up a track with hockey sticks.

A little lad from Langley Green, called Tony Staples, told the Observer’s photographer that his team was going to win for the third year running.

And the 10-year-old was right – they did.

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The report said: “The children were not the only ones having a great time – the play leaders were having just as much fun as the kids.

“‘We’re all like big children ourselves’, said assistant play officer Bob Carney, who gave up his plumbing trade to work with children.”

Do you recognise any of the people in these pictures?

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