CHRISTOPHER had a beaming grin plastered on his face the entire day, Daniel thought it was a great way to spend his birthday and Ryan made sure he gave Scotty the Clown a huge hug.

These were just three of the 1,100 children who were VIPs at Paultons Park on January 10, 1998. Hordes of youngsters from special schools arrived by balloon-decked cars, coaches, and other vehicles to spend a morning on the rides.

The sixth annual Kids’ Day Out was organised by local Rotary clubs, and a club member escorted each child to make sure a great time was had by all.

Hythe Rotarian Mike Fenn, co-ordinator, told the Echo at the time: This is parts of a national event which is the largest movement of children since wartime evacuees, but these kids have more fun. Schools contact us to come again year after year so they must enjoy it.”

Mike paid tribute to those who helped make the event a success.

“Volunteers from Littlewoods are frantically making extra sandwiches at the moment because we’re 400 short. There’s so much work involved in something like this.”