Raising cash for Olympians in 1976

Andrea Lynch at Cranleigh Middle School in 1976
Andrea Lynch at Cranleigh Middle School in 1976

For Great Britain, the Olympics used to be simple – a few people would win our handful of medals and the country as a whole would be somewhat under-whelmed by the whole experience.

Then there was Beijing 2008 and things got a bit interesting as the gold medals piled up; at London 2012 the Olympic hysteria rose to new heights, and some people still haven’t recovered from Rio!

Sponsored walk in 1976

Sponsored walk in 1976

We’re pumping money into sport, providing our athletes with the training they need and getting quite over-excited by the whole experience.

Back in 1976, it was a very different picture, with the British team having to raise money to help them even get to the Games, in Montreal.

There were fundraisers a-plenty, though, including the children of Cranleigh Middle School who raised more than £1,000 with a sponsored silence.

Sprinter Andrea Lynch, who had taken gold at the European Indoor Championships the year before, collected a cheque for £1,061 from Guy Crowther.

The children of Forest Grange School in 1976

The children of Forest Grange School in 1976

Guy had raised £38 on his own.

Great Britain finished 13th in the medal table that year, with three gold, five silver and five bronze.

There was more fundraising – though not for the Olympians – in Horsham when 230 children turned out for a 20-mile sponsored walk.

The cause was the homeless charity, Shelter, and the route took them from The Forest School, through Colgate, Mannings Heath, Copsale and Sedgwick.

Planting more than 100 saplings in Storrington

Planting more than 100 saplings in Storrington

The County Times reported that one lad started walking at 5am so he could be back home in time for lunch.

The walk raised several hundred pounds and the youngsters were described as “superb” by John Richards, chairman of the Horsham Shelter Group.

Over at Forest Grange School, the children of forms 1 and 2B were acting, singing and playing their way through a concert for their parents.

The County Times reported the highlight as a morality tale – Tom Turnabout and the Search for the Fruit of Happiness – the lesson of which was happiness is a state of mind.

Quite deep for such young children!

And finally, in Storrington, residents planted more than 100 saplings to cover a wide scar in the land left after the installation of a water main.

The 150-yard stretch along Water Lane was filled with maple, ash, holly, hawthorn, oak and a single yew tree.

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