Look Back In Time: Moon landing fever hits Falmouth

Look Back In Time: Moon landing fever hits Falmouth

Look Back In Time: Moon landing fever hits Falmouth

First published in Cornwall

Unless I've missed a lot (always likely these days), remarkably little has been made of the 45th anniversary, just passed, of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those famous first steps, writes Mike Truscott.

There was certainly no shortage of moon mania in the 1969 Falmouth Carnival Parade, which was one of the biggest-ever, with a line of over 40 floats stretching from the Recreation Ground to half-way along Arwenack Street.

Catching the eye were the “moon midgets” - Morwenna Jackett (5) and cousin Sharon Jackett (6).

Sharon's parents, Roger and Jeanette - major players on the carnival scene for many years - had spent five weeks preparing their entry.

Morwenna and Sharon stole spectators' hearts with their “astronaut's” gear - papier mache helmets, white tunics, silver paper back packs and ordinary rubber boots. The stars and stripes were emblazoned on three flags and their float was covered with “moondust” (builders' sand).

The “lunar module” itself involved a frame of insulation tiles covered in papier mache and silver paper, with lights bleeping on and off inside.

The Packet, meanwhile, had this to say about the real-life historic event: “It has split thinking men into two camps - the intellectuals, perhaps, who think it's time men on earth cleaned up the dirty business down here with all that money involved . . . and the more hard-working and scientific among us, who harp on the theme that Man must press inexorably forward, even if it is towards the heavens.

“ . . . Surely now no-one can be surprised at anything. (But) there is still a key place for Custardsvilles and carnivals, festivals and fetes, and this part of the country is proving that only too well.”

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