THE 1980s was a great decade to have lived through - or do we just see it through luminous-tinted glasses?

While we weren’t sitting at home waiting for ZX Spectrums to load, watching the A-Team on TV, carbonating our own drinks with a SodaStream or tucking into a Fiendish Feet yoghurt - these were some of the things we were venturing outside to do in Southampton:

We went to the balloon and flower festival

The 1980s simply wouldn’t have been the same without an annual trip to the Balloon and Flower Festival. The event holds fond memories for many of us.

It was an unforgettable experience the balloons take shape on Southampton Common, 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: Heritage:Balloon festival 1989

Southampton’s Balloon and Flower Festival last took place in July 2004, bringing an end to the decades-long tradition of having the 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.

READ MORE: 7 things we did in Southampton in the 1980s - part 1 >>>

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.

We watched Saints at The Dell

Way before St Mary’s Stadium and throughout the 1980s, we’d cheer on the Saints at their, former, far more intimate ground - The Dell.

Having cost £10,000, the grund opened on September 3, 1898, with a 4-1 victory over Brighton United.

In 1928, a new West Stand was added, and just a year later the East Stand was destroyed by fire. It was replaced with a replica of the West Stand.

At the Dell, opposing teams often found the atmosphere intimidating since it was such a compact stadium.

A bomb exploded on the pitch on November 30, 1940, leaving a crater 18 feet in diameter. The ground was re-opened in October 1941.

Saints had the first permanent floodlights when, on October 31, 1950, they put them into play during a a friendly against Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic.

Daily Echo: Aerial shots of Southampton Football Club's (Saints FC) old home ground The Dell. These pictures were taken during an unknown game at an unknown time. Archers road in the foreground with Milton Road and Wilton Avenue in the background. THE SOUTHERN

Saints lost 3-0 to Manchester United on October 8, 1969, in front of a crowd of 31,044 – the largest attendance the ground ever had.

A new stadium was planned for the area now occupied by the West Quay Retail Park and on another occasion the club was to relocate to North Stoneham. Neither move was implemented.

A friendly match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, May 26, 2001, was the last played at the ground. Uwe Rosler scored the last goal at the Dell for Saints in a 1-0 victory.

Saints moved to St Mary’s on August 11, 2001, and played a friendly against Espanyol.

There is now housing on the site of the old Dell, while the former center circle has been preserved as a green space.

We watched Southampton carnival procession

It was grand, noisy, colourful and a lot of fun.

Southampton Carnival in the 1980s had a procession of more than 100 entrants passing through the city streets.

Daily Echo:

Crowds would line the two-mile route hours before the action started, just to be sure they got a good view.

As well as large numbers of floats, the fancy dress competition would always prove popular.

We played on concrete rhinos

The concrete hippos outside Sainsbury’s, Lordshill were marvellous for people of all ages.

Youngsters would happily clamber all over them for hours while parents would be happy that their kids were kept entertained.

Daily Echo:

The hippos varied in size and the biggest was always the most popular - even for youngsters that weren’t big enough to get on it.

We shot one another at Quasar

Remember when Quasar opened in the late 1980s? Southampton hadn’t seen anything quite like it before.

The laser tag phenomenon that had already taking the world by storm had arrived in the city.

The packs were bright neon, as was much of the arena, and it was all lit up by UV lights and strobes.

Daily Echo: Centre 2000 swimming baths in Southampton.

The place seemed futuristic and hi-tech at the time - like something from a science fiction movie.

The packs would rumble as you’d get shot and you’d feel a pang of shame as you were out of the game for a few seconds.

It all seemed like great fun when in actual fact there were constant problems. The packs would frequently experience difficulties and the chipboard scenery quickly looked tatty and dog-eared.

We caught busses from Hampshire and Dorset Bus Station

Southampton’s bus station was opened on January 23, 1933 by Sir Reginald Ford and was located on Civic Centre Road and West Marlands Terrace.

The bus station was closed in 1987 and the site is now occupied by the Marlands shopping centre.

Daily Echo: Hampshire and Dorset Bus Station.

Many Southampton residents have fond memories of grabbing a Plested pie nearby while waiting for the bus.

We went for a paddle at Mayflower Park

When Mayflower Park paddling pool first opened in the 1960s, children splashed around happily during the summer months.

The pool, which was shaped like three joining hexagons, was still incredibly popular among youngsters in the 1980s.

Daily Echo: Paddling pool on Mayflower Park.

However, 20 years later and the once-popular attraction had fallen out of favour. The floor of the pool had become slippery and it was deemed as being unhygienic.

The paddling pool was removed completely in 2009.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News