Gumdrop, Pinkies, knitting and squash in 1982

Catrina Dawson and Bobo the Clown
Catrina Dawson and Bobo the Clown

This is a sapphire year for the Queen – she’s been on the throne for 65 years – while in 1982 it was a pearl year.

It was the same year Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark, got himself lost in the Sahara during the Paris-Dakar rally, Pope John Paul II became the first reigning Pope to visit the UK, kissing the tarmac at Gatwick as he arrived, and Mary Whitehouse took out a private prosecution against the director of The Romans In Britain, citing alleged obscenity – despite not having seen the play. None of this mattered to the youngsters of Twineham School, near Haywards Heath. They were looking forward to a visit from children’s author Val Biro and his vintage car, Gumdrop.

The Oakmeed hoopers

The Oakmeed hoopers

Little Matthew Lewis, who was due to start at the school later in the year, was given a VIP ride in the car. Matthew, 4, described the ride as “great” and said the car was “very nice”.

At Rounder Records, in Burgess Hill, pop group The Pinkees – or was it The Pinkies – were signing autographs for fans before heading off to a gig at Cinderella’s disco. The group were known to be Beatles sound-alikes, and they threw a few of the Fab Four’s hits in for good measure. St Catherine’s Hospice was being built in Crawley in 1982, but the whole project was being organised by the hospice council, in Haywards Heath.

Among the many goodwill gifts received from the community was a patchwork blanket knitted by the girls of Horsham Brownies. The girls had held a sponsored knit, which produced 489 inches of knitting which was sewn together to make a blanket.

As well as handing over the £380 raised in sponsorship money, the girls also donated the blanket to the hospice.

Grand old car at Twineham School

Grand old car at Twineham School

When it came to sport, Mid Sussex children were learning all about squash, with the help of the Squash Rackets Association. Among those who took part in the sessions for 8-12-year-olds were Joely Harvey and Paul Maclean, who were both 10 and both lived in Burgess Hill. Over in Handcross, Paul Pierce was starting his new career – as a clown called Bobo. After many amateur appearances, Bobo was given the stamp of approval by Clowns International.

And finally, we have the children of the Dolphin Tadpoles, who are pictured enjoying a party tea at the Downlands Centre, in Hassocks, while waiting for a Punch & Judy show to start.

Do you recognise anyone in these pictures?

Pop stars in Burgess Hill

Pop stars in Burgess Hill

Squash lessons in 1982

Squash lessons in 1982

Tea time for tadpoles

Tea time for tadpoles

Knitting for St Catherine's

Knitting for St Catherine's