In 1995 three pupils from Our Lady’s Chetwynde School at Barrow collected the North West Water Challenge Cup and a cheque for £250 after winning the Lancashire and Cumbria Schools Analyst competition.

Forty-five teams from 28 schools took part in the chemistry contest, held at Lancaster University.

The winning team comprised Kristopher Lipscombe, David Hyde and Jamie Ingham, all in their first year of A-level studies at the school.

Competitors had to imagine they were working in the quality control department of a firm importing wine. Teams had to find out the levels of alcohol and sulphur dioxide in the wine using various chemical tests.

The Barrow team was to go on to represent the region in the national finals.

In April 1997 The Mail reported that when sixth-form students at Chetwynde School started cultivating a small plot of land in the school grounds, it might have seemed far removed from a highly-successful business venture.

But starting at grassroots level paid off when the team won the Young Enterprise Award in the Furness area for their horticultural company, Eden Enterprises.

It had begun trading the previous September, after issuing 25p shares to raise enough money to operate.

The group of around 20 students started selling garden furniture, made mostly by inmates of Haverigg and Lancaster Farm prisons, and then when the plot of land began to flourish, business really began to boom.

David Kaine, a business adviseor to the company, said: “It really is an exercise in good teamwork – it adds a new dimension to the learning process.”

Mr Kaine, who was head of the business studies department at Furness College for 21 years, added: “As advisers, we give the to help on strategy – we just give general advice.”

Other local schools which took part in the awards sold a variety of products.

Walney Comprehensive School sold computer mouse mats, Thorncliffe School traded fridge magnets and key rings, Barrow Sixth Form College sold candles and Dowdales Comprehensive School sold candles and leather bookmarks.