Winchester Hat Fair was a special one in 1979 - it coincided with the 900th anniversary of the cathedral.

The city centre came alive when country buskers, street performers and community theatre groups entertained the bustling crowds on July 13 - St Swithun’s Eve.

The street theatre festival, known as the Hat Far because the performers earn their living or collecting for charity by “passing round the hat”, was organised by Winchester’s famous professional theatre company Attic.

First to set the scene in Winchester’s precinct was Palfi, a jovial clown from Wickham, and his zany companion Portso.

Among the groups of strolling players was Steve Solloway, Winchester’s own clown Piccolo, dressed in the style of the 1400s.

Then-Attic director Jonathan Kay, who continues as art director of the festival to this day, said: “Winchester, as a beautiful, historic city is an ideal setting for this sort of event.

“The streets come to life with mime, music magic and dance.”