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Crawley College gave residents an opportunity to take a stroll down memory lane recently.

Earlier this month, service industry students at the college held a very special afternoon tea to celebrate the town’s 75th anniversary.

Locals snapped up tickets and enjoyed a sumptuous serving of tea, cakes and sandwiches, with virtually everything – including the bread – made by hospitality & catering students and served by cabin crew and travel & tourism students at the college.

Jean Elmer has lived in Crawley for more than 60 years, moving to Tilgate with a young family, and she was one of many reminiscing at the event.

She was also full of praise for the students’ efforts. She said: “The students were smiley and they must have been under a lot of pressure, facing so many people. The food was very tasty.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the tutors, the students and the organisers for celebrating Crawley becoming 75.

“I have been here since 1958, when we arrived at Tilgate with an eight-week-old baby. We moved to a three-bedroom house, having a choice at the time of three or four. There was no pavement, no local shops – vans used to come around with the necessities.

“I am grateful for my life here.”

Vicki Illingworth, Principal of Crawley College, added: “What a truly lovely celebration of the town’s anniversary.

“It was wonderful to share the occasion with so people who have seen the town grow and develop.

“The students did a fabulous job at putting together a beautiful afternoon tea, filled with treats and to such a high quality – they should be extremely proud of their work.”

The college’s 58 Restaurant is open to the public, and available for bookings. To find out more, visit, call 01293 442218 or email