All the fun of the 40th Horsham Festival

The stars of Autowelds Chitty Chitty Bang Bang float waved to the crowds along the route
The stars of Autowelds Chitty Chitty Bang Bang float waved to the crowds along the route

The Horsham Festival proved that life begins at 40 when it attracted 35,000 people to its ruby anniversary on what turned out to be the hottest day of 1994.

These pictures were published in the County Times on July 15 of that year and show some of the young stars of the festival.

Clowning around on the Glynde Place Dance Studio float

Clowning around on the Glynde Place Dance Studio float

Two days of fun and games was launched with a carnival whose theme was 40 years of song and dance. The floats made their way through the town – where the roads were swamped with the likes of the entire cast of Cats and The Blues Brothers – before pulling into Horsham Park where the fun continued.

Miss Horsham was 17-year-old Beth Hartgroves, from Denne Park, who completed an impressive double having been crowned Little Miss Horsham in 1986. This year that title went to Tiffany Broad, who was attended by Samantha Deacon and Hannah Puttock.

The floats were certainly packed. On the Glynde Place Dance Studio float, Claire Ford, Chloe Gray, Jerusha Glavin and Michaela Welton impressed the crowds with their dancing. Also on the float, indulging in a spot of clowning around were: back from left, Sarah Higgins, Clare Foster, Petra Smith and Isla Cunningham. Front from left, Daisy Pledger, Elise Hounslow, Nancy Allen and Joanne Raynham.

All the expected old favourites were in the park over the two days – dog shows, dancers, a funfair, demonstrations from the Air Corps parachute team.

Little Miss Festival Tiffany Broad with her attendants Samantha Deacon and Hannah Puttock

Little Miss Festival Tiffany Broad with her attendants Samantha Deacon and Hannah Puttock

People were even given the chance to hurl themselves off a bungee platform.

Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps it was the cost, perhaps it was the fact it was terrifying, but the bungee gang only stayed for one day, as just 30 people out of the 35,000 who attended the festival stepped up to take the plunge.

On the Saturday evening, entertainment was provided by the band Trapper, who had won the festival talent contest in a previous year.

Graham Groom had been chairman of the festival for 17 of its 40 years. He told the County Times: “It’s effectively a hobby of mine, but a very time consuming one. At the end of the day I do get great satisfaction from it, but it’s a lot of hard work.”

Dancing on the Glynde Place Dance Studio float were Claire Ford, Chloe Gray, Jerusha Glavin and Michaela Welton

Dancing on the Glynde Place Dance Studio float were Claire Ford, Chloe Gray, Jerusha Glavin and Michaela Welton

Mr Groom was clearly a master of understatement!

Do you recognise any of the people in these photos?