THERE were fun and frolics as competitors battled it out on a giant inflatable assault course in a homage to wacky gameshow It’s a Knockout in New Milton.
Based on the BBC television series broadcast from 1966 to 1988, the contest formed the centrepiece of this year’s Lions Club family fun day on the War Memorial Recreation Ground, off Whitefield Road, on Saturday.
Thousands flocked to the green as the sun shone on the town’s first major outdoor event of 2019.
Hailing the day a success, Alan Watson, chairman of the Lion Club’s activities committee, said: “There was a real community spirit and at times some intense rivalry.
“At the same time, it was fantastic that we could provide the opportunity for a large number of local charities and community groups to promote themselves, and in many cases raise much-needed funds.”
Among those taking part in the It’s a Knockout challenge in the main arena was a team from Station Road’s Central Bar which emerged as the overall winner.
There was militaristic rivalry between the boys’ and girls’ teams from the 6th Troop New Milton Army Cadet Force, with the girls ultimately claiming victory.
There were also strong performances from the Mother Ruggers and Sons, and a team from the Cliff House Hotel as they ran the gauntlet.
Youngsters also got a piece of the action when the course was opened up to children aged between eight and 14 during the interval of the adult contest.
The ever-popular fun dog show, hosted by the Barton-based Friendly Dog Club, saw people enter their pets for a chance to claim rosettes in classes including waggiest tail, best pedigree and even the scruffiest dog.
Stalls from many local community groups covered the green, including the New Forest Disability Information Service, the Royal British Legion and Neighbourcare.
The RNLI’s presentation was supported by a display of six large radio-controlled model lifeboats provided by the Solent Radio Controlled Model Boat Club. Charity mascot Stormy Sam was also on hand to delight youngsters and help swell its funds by almost £400.
The New Milton Residents’ Association signed up a large number of new members.
A variety of flowers, vegetables and shrubs were on offer for gardening enthusiasts at the Lions Club’s famous plant stall.
Lions president John Alcock also organised a crossbow stall. He said: “It was great to see so many happy faces, and the young and old, residents and visitors, coming along to enjoy a really great family fun day in New Milton, provided by one of the strongest and most vibrant Lions clubs in the area.”
Popular local band We Are Robot brought the event to a close with their own spin on classics from yesteryear to echo the spirit of nostalgic fun it conjured. Their set on the green’s performance pavilion delighted the large audience, which called for several encores.