ONCE the crowds were so big that they spilled over from the pavements and out into the road, but now those days are consigned to the history books as Southampton Carnival is no more.

At one time the event was so popular that spectators would arrive hours before the procession began making its way through the city centre so as to make sure of a prime viewing position.

This photograph shows part of the parade of the 1974 carnival with thousands lining the route through Above Bar.

Daily Echo:

Some of the biggest carnivals Southampton ever saw were those of the early 1950s as the town, as it was then, shrugged off the difficult post-war years and looked forward to a time of growth and expansion.

“As far as the eye could follow, up and down the street, on rooftops, garden walls, hoardings, leaning from windows, clinging precariously from scaffolding and even to the tongue of a Bargate lion there were people,’’ said the Daily Echo in its report of the 1953 carnival.

If you have any more information you would like to share about this picture, why not leave a comment?