Nostalgia: Looking back at the news of 1988

Deputy mayor of Chichester Dr Marie Clough smashing a bottle of champagne outside the Ship Hotel to mark its reopening
Deputy mayor of Chichester Dr Marie Clough smashing a bottle of champagne outside the Ship Hotel to mark its reopening

YOU can be called up to jury service at any time, but a mum got a shock when her two-year-old son was requested to attend Chichester Crown Court 25 years ago this week.

The Chichester Observer dated June 2, 1988, carried a picture of toddler Gareth Guscott, who had been called for jury service.

Bishops removal van stuck at Chichester Station

Bishops removal van stuck at Chichester Station

The paper wrote: “An official letter informed him he must attend Chichester Court House at 10.15am on August 1, with a claim form for loss of earnings, and dire warnings to beware jury nobblers.”

Mum Kim, of The Copse, was amused at the letter and said: “When the summons arrived we could not stop laughing. There will be a few red faces when we go to the court to point out the mistake.

“I’ve got to take him or he could be prosecuted for not attending and fined all his pocket money. I shall have to explain he is very sorry he cannot attend because he will miss play school!”

It was unclear how the mistake had occurred.

Youngsters enjoy the new swimming pool in Petworth

Youngsters enjoy the new swimming pool in Petworth

Meanwhile, the same week saw drama at a level crossing, as a barrier smashed into a removal van at Chichester station.

The van from removal company Bishops, based in Chichester, was caught in a tailback as it crossed the line and was unable to escape from under the barrier before it came down.

The story carried 
the headline ‘Bishop’s move checked by rail barrier’.

The week also saw the reopening of the Ship Hotel, in North Street, Chichester, after a £350,000 refurbishment.

Two-year-old Gareth Guscott, pictured with his jury call-up papers

Two-year-old Gareth Guscott, pictured with his jury call-up papers

A bottle of champagne was launched into the side of the hotel in celebration by the deputy mayor.

The Midhurst and Petworth Observer also reported on the reopening of a swimming pool in Petworth at the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Centre.

The paper wrote of ongoing repair work to a stone footbridge in the Shimmings Valley, at Sheep Down, which saw many volunteers helping with the project.

Finally, one unusually lengthy delay saw a Chichester man pictured with a letter which he sent in February 1974, from Chichester, which arrived at its destination in Stockbridge 14 years after it was posted.

Work on the stone bridge at Sheep Down

Work on the stone bridge at Sheep Down