THE 44th staging of the South Cumbria Musical Festival starts this weekend and to mark the event we have turned the clock back 20 years to show some of the competitors from the year 2000 who featured in The Mail’s picture archive.

This year’s event is from Sunday, March 15, to Friday, March 20, in Ulverston Coronation Hall and gives group and individual performers a chance to shine in a wide variety of singing, instrument and speech classes.

The festival ends with a Friday gala concert showcasing festival contestants past and present, with a range of guest performers.

Concert tickets are available from the office at the Coronation Hall, or by calling 07773 403686, only during the festival week.

The Mail, on Monday, April 10 in 2000, noted: “Singers from across the North West were competing in the first session of this year’s South Cumbria Musical Festival at Ulverston yesterday.

“The Coronation Hall event opened with the adult vocalist section.

“The event attracted entries from as far afield as Middlesbrough and Sale, Greater Manchester.

“Glynn Morris dominated the competition, winning four sections as well as the Fairfield Ladies Rose bowl for most meritorious performance.

“Ulverston’s Raymond McIlroy did the town proud, winning the ballad solo class and taking second p;ace in bass solo."

The Mail, on April 13, noted: “Highest mark of the day went to clarinettist Oliver Gray, from Ayside, from Newby Bridge, who notched up a 90in the woodwind solo open class to win the Avoca Shield.

"Schoolgirl Thea Jones, from Barrow, on alto saxophone won the Furness Baroque Cup in the woodwind solo with Heather on the Hill.

“The evening was devoted to choirs and among the winners were South Walney Junior School, Low Furness Primary School and Yarlside Primary School.”

The day ended with a massed choir from six schools for what was called the Festival Masterclass, conducted by Robert Latham.