Community celebrations held across the district to mark start of new millennium

Bells were rung, souvenir mugs were handed out and schools and churches planted trees and bulbs to commemorate the start of a bright new era

IT is almost 20 years since the new millennium was marked in South Cumbria with a bewildering range of events, souvenir gifts for youngsters, tree plantings and community activities.

Some were planned months before the Year 2000 started and others came much later to mark what was seen as a special year - these pictures from The Mail archive show just a few of them.

The Mail, on Wednesday, January 5, noted: "Bell-ringers across Furness rang in the new millennium at the weekend with plenty of gusto.

"The chimes rang out from churches all over Barrow, Dalton and Ulverston -which were open throughout the weekend in many cases.

"Churches reported an excellent attendance at the special millennium services.

"Many churches rang out for more than 30 minutes from midday on New Year's Day."

Bell ringer Stan Walmsley said: "It is the Year 2000 and that is a special year for us."

St Paul's Church, Barrow, had a team of handbell ringers performing at its New Year's Day service at Hawcoat Lane.

The North Scale Residents' Association, on Walney, commemorated the millennium with inscribed mugs making use of a drawing by Dave Pollock.

Around 200 were produced by Parr Pottery and were distributed in December 1999 to children and senior citizens.

Barrow mayor, Cllr Jean Waiting and  Cllr Edie Garside made some of the presentations at the Mayor's Parlour at Barrow Town Hall.

Grange Council donated souvenir mugs to all the youngsters at Grange CE Primary School.

At Broughton special mugs went to 150 youngsters from Broughton CE School, nursery and playground.

The Mail, on January 5, noted: "The millennium souvenirs, which contain a drawing of the obelisk in Broughton's historic square, have been provided by Duddon Parish Council."

In March 2000 two millennium yew trees were planted at St Mary Magdalene Church, Broughton.

Members of the congregation, the church choir, the Reverend Simon Paul and Broughton Brownies were there to see parish council chairman, Lynne Burch, plant one of the trees.

The second was planted by Chris Nuttall, chairman of the local support Group of Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

George and Edna Kirkham decorated the front of their home in Furness Park Road, Barrow, with international flags and a huge millennium countdown board.

He said: "We put everything up at the beginning of December to count down from 31."

The couple, both 68, marked the end of the countdown with fireworks and a party for family and friends.