PUPILS at St Columba’s School in Barrow were learning a lesson in living history back in 1992.

The Mail, on Friday June 12, noted: “The 200-pupil primary school is now in its 75 th year and as part of the birthday celebrations children have donned flat caps and pinafores to spend the week dressed in 1916 costumes.

“Computers and modern-day teaching methods have made way for slate and chalk, pounds, shillings and pence, and general knowledge lessons.

“And past pupils, some from the school’s first intake in 1916, have returned to share their memories of schooldays under sterner regimes in more austere times.”

Headteacher Pat Hurley, was a former pupil of the school and had been a teacher there for 20 years.

She said: “All had very fond memories.

“They were really pleased to come back and they said they thought the atmosphere was a lot friendlier and easier.

“The parents have supported everything and have been absolutely wonderful – and the children have really enjoyed the week.”

The article noted: “Another highlight for the children was when parents came in to attend 1916 style lessons.”

Youngsters enjoyed watching the mums and dads being shouted at and threatened with the cane.

Other events during the celebration week included a church service attended by 300 people, a sports day and parties for both past and present pupils.

The school was constructed during the First World War at a time when building site labour was hard to come by as young men went into the military services, or were making ships, submarines and munitions at Barrow shipyard.

Employment at Vickers was above 30,000 and the town was packed with new faces – many of them mill girls from industrial Lancashire who moved to Barrow to making millions of artillery shells.

Most of the first pupils at the school would have parents involved in the war effort in one way or another.

By the end of the war, some of the pupils would be aware of relatives injured or even killed in the conflict.

Youngsters also faced restrictions on the places they could play after school as many open spaces – and some school buildings in Barrow - had been taken over for military use.