Gifted, helpful youngsters from 1997

Working at the Warnham Animal Sanctuary in 1997
Working at the Warnham Animal Sanctuary in 1997
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As years go, 1997 was an eventful one.

Labour ousted the Tories from power, the Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris, Moors murderer Myra Hindley was told she would never be released from prison, and the first of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – was published.

Africa Week at Chesworth School in 1997

Africa Week at Chesworth School in 1997

For the youngsters in these pictures, life was certainly busy.

The 1140 (Chactonbury) Squadron of the Air Training Corps had changed its name in 1996, from the 1440 (Steyning) Detached Flight. A year later, several cadets were presented with their Sussex Wing Blues after representing the squadron in cross-country and hockey.

Pictured are: Kirsty Davis, Rachel Allaston, Tracy Davis, Gayle Davis and Abigail Jefford.

Rachel had been the first girl to join the new squadron, in February 1996.

Cadets of the 1140 (Chactonbury) Squadron of the Air Training Corps in 1997

Cadets of the 1140 (Chactonbury) Squadron of the Air Training Corps in 1997

While the girls were receiving their wings, a group of lads from the 2nd Horsham Apollo Venture Scouts proved their worth when they took part in the Charlton Chase. The Chase was an annual night exercise which covered 18 miles of open country on the South Downs. The unit, made up of Nick Kidd, Oliver Gates, Robert Cranfield and Ashley Poulter, came third.

The winners were the Duke of Ediburgh Open Award Unit, from Steyning, which was made up of Ralph Brown, Michael Jordan, Jonathan Sineh and Andrew Cay.

Over at Warnham Animal Sanctuary, a bunch of young volunteers from the Princes Trust rolled up their sleeves and helped to build an all-weather surface to be used by dogs at the refuge.

The seven-strong team of 16-25-year-olds from Horsham and Crawley had already spent a week in Wales working with a community organisation.

Horsham Venture Scouts in 1997

Horsham Venture Scouts in 1997

Pictured are, back from left: Jackie Perryman, Jo Blythman and Paul Salt (front), Antony Stephens, Philip Hall and Paul Walker. The other member of the team was Darren Emmans.

During their three weeks at the sanctuary, the team also repaired a pond and re-roofed the kennels.

Our final picture was taken at Chesworth County Junior School during their African dance week. The children had been given lessons by the Mashango Dance Company, while instructors Risenga Makondo and Marsha Smith helped them build a willow hut in the school grounds.