Every year in July, colleges and sixth forms in Basingstoke mark the end of the academic year with a leavers' ball.

We have dug back into our archives to unearth these photographs taken from QMC's leavers' ball in 2005.

Fifteen years ago, it was still legal to smoke indoors. Facebook was a glint in Mark Zuckerberg's eye and most mobile phones were just about capable of holding 12 text messages and a handful of polyphonic ringtones, if you were lucky.

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke Gazette:

It was a simple time, perfectly encapsulated by these great pictures showing students celebrating the end of their studies before heading into the workplace or off to university.

This is what we wrote at the time in July 2005:

Party time is in full swing for hundreds of teenagers in and around Basingstoke as students celebrate the end of their school or college days in style.

The leavers’ ball has become a traditional way of marking the end of the year for those who are leaving school or college and have been working hard towards their exams.

The balls are a chance to celebrate this milestone of life – and every year, young people in The Gazette’s circulation area seize the chance to dress up in style and let their hair down.

The Gazette’s photographers have been out and about capturing all the glamour, glitz and fun of the leavers’ balls on camera, and today

The Thursday Gazette puts the spotlight on leavers’ celebrations at Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke.

About 400 students enjoyed all the fun of the leavers’ ball, which took place last Friday in the college grounds and was a black-tie affair.

The ball was organised by the QMC students’ union and had a circus theme which involved jugglers and fire-eaters entertaining the young partygoers.

Gareth Thomas, assistant principal at the college, said: “It was a great evening – immensely enjoyable.

“It is the last contact most of the students will have with the college and there was a splendid atmosphere. A good time was had by all.”