IT was a busy Christmas period for Southampton’s pedestrian precinct.

Thousands, loaded down with festive goodies, battled their way along its pavements as six men hit each other with large sticks.

The King John’s Morris group helped the Rotary Club of Southampton to collect money for the Old People’s All Day Club by performing a traditional stick dance in front of thronging hordes.

The date was December 16, 1978, and the shops reported “bumper takings” as shoppers buzzed around the city centre.

One Southampton supermarket said its sales of whisky had gone up by 400%.