MANY of us have fond memories of the Southampton Balloon and Flower Festival.

We loved seeing the balloons take shape on the fields, hearing the whoosh of flames, and feeling the searing heat from behind the tape.

Favourites such as Bertie Bassett, the Cadbury’s Caramel bunny, AGFA’s film canister and Rupert the Bear were regulars - providing spectators with a smile every time.

Daily Echo:

Sadly, the last Southampton Balloon and Flower Festival took place in July 2004, bringing an end to the decades-long tradition of Southampton having an annual festival on the Common.

The event was known as Southampton Show beforehand, the Victory Garden Show and Fete during the Second World War, and the Royal Counties Agricultural Show before that.

Daily Echo:

Each year the main arena thundered to the hooves of some of the country’s top showjumping horses while marquees were crammed full of homemade exhibits including cakes, wines, pottery, knitting and more.

The horticultural tent was a major attraction up until the final show. Stalls in the makeshift structures were lined with colourful flowers, scrubbed carrots, plump broad beans and gleaming onions.

In the gallery above is a selection of pictures showing some of the hot air balloons - more to follow soon.