Golden days of the carnival era

With the Crawley Lions doing their best to bring the carnival back to Crawley, it seemed appropriate to include some pictures from its heyday.

Although this year won’t see the return of the floats which used to delight young and old alike as they made their way through the town each Whitsun, perhaps this reminder of how much fun they used to be will raise some enthusiasm for future years.

These pictures came courtesy of West Sussex Past Pictures ( and mainly show the carnival of 1966.

The exceptions are the three people in Victorian dress standing on a cart, which was taken c1955; the group of 15 children in fancy dress, which was taken c1912; the group sitting on the float bearing the banner ‘United efforts means success. Help your hospital’; and the two ladies in very grand Victorian dress.

They were Daisy and Florrie Warren who ran the family hardware shop in Crawley High Street. The picture was taken c1952.

As for the 1966 pictures, can anyone put any names to faces?

It was a rather memorable year - what with England winning the World Cup and all.

It was the year we first heard California Dreamin’, Yellow Submarine and Good Vibrations - not to mention Star Trek, Batman and The Monkees making their first appearance on TV.

But what was it like in Crawley?

The new town had found its feet and the toddlers who came down from London with their parents were grown up and determined to make their mark in the world.

If you have any pictures of Crawley from the swinging 60s, the super 70s and the effervescent 80s - or if you would like to share your memories of growing up in those days - contact Karen Dunn at the Observer.