Musicians, swimmers, painters and video stars in class of 1990


The swimming pool was certainly the place to be during the summer of 1990.

With temperatures swelling the mercury to a brain-melting 37.1C (98.8F), the youngsters in this photo would have been forgiven for refusing to leave the water.



The boys and girls were taking part in the Crawley Swimfit swimming gala, which was held at the old leisure centre, in Haslett Avenue.

A report in the Observer stated: “Crawley Swimming Pool was awash with flippers, inflatables and fitness fanatics as part of the Amateur Swimming Association’s campaign to lure people back into the water.”

By the looks of them, they didn’t take much luring!

When it came to music, 1990 was all about Sinead O’Connor’s haunting Nothing Compares 2 U, Madonna’s stylish Vogue, and Timmy Mallett’s nightmare-inducing Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.



While all three may have scored number one hits, none of them performed at the Albert Hall that year – unlike one lucky bunch of musicians from Gossops Green.

The youngsters were cadets from the neighbourhood’s Nautical Training Corps, who had reached the finals of the National Band Competition.

Looking smart in their Corps uniform, they didn’t seem to be at all nervous about performing at one of the biggest venues in London.

Does anyone know how they did?



Next up are a group of young people working on their own music video. While today anyone with a basic phone can create videos, in the dim and distant past that was 1990, it wasn’t quite so easy.

The picture shows Mitesh Magecha, Dafyd Beran, Phillip Kramer and Colin Dick, who were taking part in a month-long Crawley Community Arts project to put the technological talents of the town’s youth to the test.

Does anyone know which song they chose and whether the video was ever finished.

Our final picture shows a bunch of talented teens from Thomas Bennett Community College who had designed and created a mathematical mural for the Canterbury building.

The mural was designed during the college’s annual arts week on the theme of Celtic knots and the young artists were helped by a professional who had been called in to help.

Elsewhere in the college, musicians, writers and dancers were on hand to help and advice other students in their topics of choice.

Does anyone know if the mural was kept when the college was demolished and rebuilt in 2005?

While the youngsters of Crawley were having fun during 1990, the grown-ups were in the process of changing the face of the town centre.

A new shopping centre – with the working name TC6, which made it sound like a droid from, Star Wars – was being built, along with a duel carriageway along Station Way and a bus station.

The bus station was opened early in the year and Haslett Avenue was split into East and West as excavation work on the shopping centre – which, of course, was named County Mall – began that May.

These pictures were taken from the Crawley Observer archive of 1990 – which seems like only yesterday to some of us but was actually a depressingly long time ago!

If you have any old pictures you would like to share, they can be emailed to

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