IT’S been a large part of Southampton life for 160 years – but 20 years ago the fair on Southampton Common came under threat of closure.

On April 6, 1999, the Daily Echo reported that the city council was considering not renewing the attraction’s licence because of competition from other events.

Heather Longley, a housewife from Bitterne Manor, Southampton, started a petition to help save the much-loved fair.

Thankfully for thrill-seekers, the event continued. These pictures were taken by a Daily Echo photographer.