Summertime 1983! Bring on the rain!

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The year was 1983, the event was the Warnham Bumper Fun Day – and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The weather, the police and even some locals did their best to scupper the fun.

Things started well. It was nice and sunny and youngsters such as 12-year-old Jason Waller happily submitted themselves to the stocks to be pelted with cold water.

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They probably wished they hadn’t later, when the heavens opened and a storm, complete with thunder and forked lightning, sent people scurrying for cover.

A report in the County Times reported that a rock concert, which was being held in conjunction with the fun day, had been delayed by two hours due to a break in a power line. When Mother Nature started providing her own electricity, the musicians decided to move the concert to the village hall.

That, though, was when the long arm of the law pulled the plug. Apparently, the entertainments licence arranged by the organisers didn’t cover the village hall.

But surely exceptions could be made?

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No...no they couldn’t.

Only two bands – the wonderfully named Digital Frog and The Uncle Cabbage Band – had managed to take to the stage, so everyone packed up and set up on the cricket field again when the rain died.

Hoorah! All was saved! An evening of live music was assured!

No it wasn’t.

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Locals started complaining to the police about the noise and the plug was pulled again. No one ever got to hear the music of House of Hearts and Moonshine. They could have been the next Beatles...

Despite all their bad luck, the Warnham Play Area Association, which organised the fun day, managed to raise £800, which went towards the building of an adventure playground.

Back in Horsham, 26 13-21-year-olds spent the holidays taking part in a young actors’ summer school.

The school was organised by the district council in an effort to attract more youngsters to use The Capitol theatre.

Under the supervision of dance teacher Renee Martin, the group prepared scenes from a one-act play to perform in front of friends and parents.

Did any of these young actors and dancers from 1983 go on to forge a career in the business?

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