THERE was plenty of reason for celebration 30 years ago as a Barrow school officially opened its new-look buildings and new green space for youngsters.

The Mail, on May 6 in 1989, noted: "Some 260 green balloons floated high over Barrow, marking the opening of Greengate Junior School's £140,000 refurbishment programme which involved the demolition of five classrooms.

"And for the first time in the school's 116-year-old history, a grassed play area has been created.

"The children celebrated the new greenery by wearing green clothes and green rosettes and in the afternoon ate a green iced cake.

"Each one released a green balloon with their name tag tied to it and a prize will be given for the one which travels furthest.

"Headmaster Colin Smith welcomed parents and guests to the opening, including retired teachers, past pupils, governors, welfare officers, councillors and a community policewoman.

"He said it was fitting for the celebration to have a green theme when the town was starting a Think Green week."

The article noted: "He raised a laugh when he produced a pair of green handled scissors for Evelyn Alexander to cut the green ribbon to officially open the school.

"Miss Alexander is principal education officer (primary and welfare) at the county education offices in Carlisle and Mr Smith said she has supported the idea of refurbishing the school since it was first suggested three years ago."

Among the visitors was 80-year-old Clara Pottage, who was a pupil at the school in 1917 when she was eight years old.

She also taught at the school from 1963 to 1970.

She said: "I can remember when we had 100 children and two teachers in one room. We had to be quiet then."

At the start of September in 1988 the refurbishment work had been in full swing and resulted in pupils getting an extra two days on the end of the long summer holiday.

The Mail, on September 3, noted: "Joiners have been hard at work fitting doors and coat hooks."

Teachers did their bit by moving cupboards, painting and getting classrooms ready.

Part of the school was demolished over the summer ready to create a green playing area.

The Mail, on October 16 in 1991, noted the opening of a wooden suspension bridge, a quiet area where children could sit and read and a conservation area with a wildlife pond.