It was Shrove Tuesday 1998 and Queens Square was alive with happy souls in fancy dress doing their best to charge around flipping pancakes while not falling over.
The event was the Crawley Observer charity pancake race, in aid of the NSPCC’s Thanks A Million Appeal – the chosen charity of the town’s mayor Mary Mayne.
Ten teams took part and the rivalry between Debenhams and Midland Bank raised many a chuckle.
The customer service gang from the Midland were crowned winners, with Lorraine Page and Clive Illingworth lifting the coveted – and rather cheap – Grand Pancake Shield. And the secret of their success? Bananas! Apparently they ate a lot of them...
Team Observer saw Andrew Oxlade and Graham Carter took to the ‘field’ dressed as Batman and Robin – and the not so dynamic duo were promptly knocked out in the first round.
Simon Cuckow and Julie Kitcherside, of the Debenhams' menswear team, dressed in football and hippy gear for the race - but also went out in the first round.
The Debenhams' gang had so many teams in the competition that they found themselves having to race each other. Philip O'Scanlon and Caroline Packham, who were dressed as a bride and groom, were dumped out of the contest in the quarter-finals by their colleagues from the womenswear department
The mighty Midland team left many a victim in their wake, frying pans abandoned and pancakes drooping, including the mayor. Mrs Mayne had teamed up with town centre manager Roger Bates and stormed through to the quarter-finals before being destroyed by the bank with a griffin logo.
Rebecca Stevenson, of Mercury FM, bit off more than she could chew when she tried to commentate on her race – while she was running! She and DJ Sue Dougan made it through the first round before falling to the Blues Brothers, otherwise known as the Debenhams’ management team.
Away from the thrill of the pancake races, students at Holy Trinity School, in Gossops Green, were rather excited. They were getting ready to record a CD of their own music to raise funds to replace some of the school’s aging musical instruments. The project was the idea of Head of Music, Richard Mainwaring, who called it “a lovely memento of our work throughout the term.”
Over at Waterfield First School, in Bewbush, children were put through their paces by former British gymnastics champ Sarah Mercer. All 280 of the three-to-eight-year-olds took part in keep fit sessions to raise money to pay for playground resurfacing.
And finally, youngsters at Broadfield Fun Club – along with co-ordinator Nikke Coates – celebrated the group’s second birthday with cake and games at Broadfield Community Centre.