IF we ever contact life from other worlds it might just turn out to be an alien replying to a message sent into space from a Furness school.

In 1994 pupils from St Mary's CE School at Dalton received awards after entering a London Science Museum competition to have their special messages shot into space.

The Mail, on May 18, noted: "This week they received the certificates that prove that their words and designs have been sent off via satellite and now they just have to wait for aliens to answer their call.

"There are more than 10,000 messages to the satellite and they were also displayed at the Science Museum."

Back in 1993 pupils were getting used to a new word — pootering — on a visit to see tiny wildlife in ponds at the Sandscale Haws nature reserve.

The Mail, on June 23, noted: "Using a pooter, a plastic tube which sucks up little creatures without hurting them, the St Mary's pupils vacuumed insects from the ponds and sand dunes in order to take a closer look."

Dalton mayor Cllr John Philipson visited the school's Easter fair and music afternoon at the end of March in 1996 and found himself judging the hundreds of entries in the decorated egg competition.

The Mail noted: "There were performances by the school choir and recorder group."

Pupils Daisy Forrest and Damian Redhead were named in 1997 as the region's champions in the National Junior Petunia schools competition.

They were invited to appear on BBC television's Gardeners' World Live.

The Mail on June 11 noted: "Just after Easter 609 schools were each given 105 petunia plants by the Garden Centre Association.

"The aim was to encourage children to grow plants and develop an interest in gardening.

"St Mary's got into the swing of events with 70 children aged five, six, eight and nine years old competing."

A special service attended by Bishop of Carlisle Ian Harland and the opening of a new library marked the 25th anniversary of the school in 1995.

The Mail, on January 16, noted: "The school was originally founded in 1865 on the site of what is now the Chequers Hotel, Abbey Road,

"It moved to the present site at Coronation Drive in 1970."

The opening of the library marked the end of a school renovation costing £101,000.

An article on the daily working of the primary school appeared in The Mail on March 4 in 1997.

It noted that there were 210 pupils aged from four to 11 in three infant, four junior and a new nursery class.

It noted: "The oldest children in the school all have jobs which make them feel a responsible part of the school community.

"Some look after infants or equipment, one rings the school bell."

The article said: "There are after-school clubs for many children in chess, badminton, football and the Christian JAFFA Club — Jesus And Fun For All.

"The school is also a resource for the community with Rainbows, Brownies, karate, keep-fit and a youth group."