MUCH has changed in education provision in Barrow since a popular nursery started life in a spare classroom on a school site which was later wanted for housing.

Hill Top Pre-School Nursery was opened in 1986 in a classroom at Parkview School - the former Barrow Boys Grammar School, opened in 1930, and Barrow Girls Grammar School, opened in 1932.

Both former grammar school buildings were demolished in 2014 having become redundant with the opening of the adjacent Furness Academy at a cost of £22.4m.

The Mail, on Thursday, April 20 in 2000, recorded celebrations at the nursery after a glowing inspection report and our selection of pictures reflect the wide range of activities which took place at the nursery through the years.

There was everything from sports days to a zoo tour and a picnic, while there were visits to promote personal safety from fire crews and police officers

It noted: “It is the first time that inspectors have visited the nursery and it was found to provide a stimulating and well-organised environment.

“The only drawback was poor quality playground facilities.

“The children’s behaviour is described as excellent and, by the time the youngsters reach five, most are likely to achieve the desirable outcome in all six areas of learning.

“Programmes for personal development are all strong with no weaknesses.

“Inspectors found that language and literacy was good at Hill Top with some excellent work being carried out and creative work was also noted to be excellent.

“Personal and social development is a very strong area along with mathematics.

“Teaching was generally of a very high quality and inspectors found good interaction, reviewing and questioning techniques, encouragement, awareness of the needs of each child and knowledge of the subject being taught."

Manager Pauline Curtis said: “One of the weaknesses included the play area outside for physical exercise. We can only go out there in the summer and not when it’s boggy."