School plays, sports festivals and pictures of days gone by

With the swinging 60s having floated off into the pages of history, the 1970s stepped up to show what they had to offer.

In Crawley, the decade that taste forgot got off to a gentle start with children taking centre stage for school plays and fetes.

Hazelwick School production of All The King's Men, July 1970 SUS-150119-092819001

Hazelwick School production of All The King's Men, July 1970 SUS-150119-092819001

These two pictures were printed in the Crawley & District Observer on Friday July 10 1970.

The first shows students from Hazelwick School, Three Bridges, giving a performance of All The King’s Men as part of its contribution to Crawley’s Festival of Education.

The second shows some of the costumes worn during the fancy dress parade at the Turners Hill School fete.

Do you recognise anyone in these photos – and does anyone remember the town’s Festival of Education?

As most Crawley people know, our town was developed following the Second World War when the government launched the first phase of its New Towns project.

The towns were: Stevenage, Crawley, Hemel Hempstead, Harlow, Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Basildon, Bracknell and Corby.

In 1965, Basildon, Bracknell, Crawley, Harlow, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City met for the first New Towns Festival of Sport.

Held in Harlow on September 4, the festival saw the towns compete in events such as netball, squash, lawn tennis, bowls, basketball, fencing, archery, judo, rugby and volleyball.

The competitions were open to men, women, boys and girls and Crawley put forward teams for almost every event – except lawn tennis and archery, which we didn’t seem to fancy.

Does anyone remember the Festival of Sport? Was there ever a second one – and how did Crawley perform?

The medieval Ancient Priors has been home to many businesses over the years. From restaurants to antiques stores, it has seen them all.

See the slideshow for a picture in which it was known as Burgess’ furniture shop and displayed many of its wares on the pavement in the High Street.

The picture was taken in 1903.

The other five pictures in the slideshow show scenes of Crawley between 1880 and 1907.

The picture showing the Old Punch Bowl – earlier known as the Old Houses – was taken in 1903 and shows the view down towards The Tree before The Boulevard was built.

The picture of the children standing next to the remains of a bonfire was also taken in the High Street in 1903.

The Brewery Shades is on the right and the cottages next to it were demolished to make way for the Broadwalk.

The horse and cart, belonging to Bartley and Ward (builders) was snapped in 1907 at the northern end of the High Street.

The Sun Inn can be seen on the left.

The picture of the row of cottages in West Street was taken c1880. According to the information with the photo, the house on the corner is Hope House, which was owned by grocer and stationer John Sayers.

Known as New Town, this part of Crawley was built in the 1860s and 1870s.

Nearby was the New Town brick, Pipe and Pottery Works belonging to builders Richard Cook & Sons, who built many of the houses in New Town.

Pictures courtesy of West Sussex Past Pictures.