Weird and wonderful

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Some weird and wonderful people and events have graced the streets of Crawley over the years.

From It’s A Knockout in 1974 to the Olympic Torch in 2012, the town has had its fair share of things you don’t see every day.

So this week, we’ve dug deep into the archive to bring you a selection of photos which are unusual or downright odd.

The main picture shows the centenary celebrations of Crawley’s rubber industry, and was taken in 1920.

The three wonderful open-topped vehicles driving along the High Street were called charabancs.

The event was organised by India Rubber Manufacturers James Lyne Hancock Ltd.

Next we have a group of Crawley schoolgirls loitering around two large wheels of cheese (as you do).

The girls were from Crawley Council School, in Robinson Road, and the picture was taken in 1947.

They were: (from left) Gladys Howard (later Welfare), Pam George (later Mills), unknown, Queenie Tappenden, Rita Wells (later Smith), Yvonne Beaval, Dot Robinson and Mr Denman, manager of the Co-op, in the High Street. He lived in Albany Road.

It’s not often you come across barrel organs any more, but Daisy Warren (pictured) and her sister Florrie were a common site with theirs on fair days in the 1930s and 1940s.

The sisters ran a hardware shop in the High Street.

The would roll out the barrel organ to raise money for the local hospital and other charities.

Living so close to Gatwick, we’re all used to the rumble of aircraft as they pass overhead.

But in 1912, the people of Crawley were treated to a glimpse of a rather unusual flying machine – an airship.

One theory is that it was the airship ‘Gamma’ that landed at Lindfield that year.

Whatever its reason for being there, it must have been a thrilling site to see.

The final photo shows workmen in 1947 dismantling the air raid shelter which stood in the High Street outside the Ancient Priors (now Ask restaurant).

Does anyone know why the town waited two years to get rid of such an obvious reminder of the Second World War?