THE Alfred Barrow Health centre is writing a new chapter into the story of a well-loved Furness building which for generations of former school pupils will always be known simply as The Alfs.

It closed as a Barrow secondary school in 2009 as pupils transferred from Alfred Barrow School to the new Furness Academy.

The Duke Street building started life as the Higher Grade School in 1888.

It was the Barrow Grammar School to 1930, then was separate Alfred Barrow secondary modern schools for boys and girls, until it went comprehensive as Alfred Barrow School from 1979.

There had been an attempt by Cumbria County Council to close the school in 1988 but this was fought off by a public protest.

An unsuccessful campaign to save it in 2009 had been just as vociferous -including a march by pupils.

The main building on the Alfred Barrow site was renovated to provide a temporary home for St George’s Primary School and then Barrow Island Community School as both their sites were refurbished.

The school was named after Sir Alfred Barrow, mayor of Barrow for six successive years, despite being born an Ulverston lad.

During his many years of public duty he got to meet King George V twice and his wife, Queen Mary, once.

In recognition of his achievements, he was knighted in 1922 and created a deputy-lieutenant of the County of Lancashire.

He had been a borough councillor since 1892, representing the Ramsden Ward.

His six-year reign as Barrow mayor started in 1913 and in 1917 he received the Order of the British Empire.

The war claimed the life of his only son,

After the First World War he became chairman of the town’s war memorial committee which raised £9,877.

An article in The Mail in 1922 noted: “Year in year out, he was engaged in some useful work for town or state. He spared himself nothing.”