PUPILS at a South Cumbrian school managed to enjoy tea and cake for its 145th anniversary but the doors were closed before the landmark 150 years was reached.

The Mail, on Friday July 13 in 2001, noted: "The 145th anniversary of Lowick Church of England School has helped the school improve its archives.

"Old pictures were on display at the birthday celebrations and former pupils and staff members were invited to sign their names and provide those of other people they could identify.

"The pictures, with the names, will now be put in a book as part of the school's archives."

Headteacher Shirley Rainbow said: "It was a great day.

"While we hoped we might get together a full class from a year, that didn't happen.

"But we had people who were pupils in the 1930s and staff from the 1950s.

"The children joined in, helping show our visitors around and enjoying chatting to them."

The ex-pupils were also invited to make a clay tile, with their name inscribed, which will be erected in the school's sensory garden as a momento of the birthday celebrations."

In May 1996 a party had been held for the 140th birthday of the school where the guest of honour was former pupil Winnie Owen, aged 94.

She was welcomed by the school's youngest pupil Kiva Fishwick, aged four, who was dressed in the Victorian-style.

The Mail, on May 7 in 1996, noted: "The pair had the honour of cutting the ribbon which opened the school's new Rainbow Room - a designated quiet area which was built after parents raised £5,500 towards it."

The country school managed to beat off a closure threat in the summer of 2003 but on Friday, July 15 in 2005 the school shut after 149 years.

The Mail noted: "Last September it was reopened as Britain's first co-operative school after raising £105,000.

"But lack of funds and dwindling numbers of pupils has now forced its closure."

Numbers at the school had fallen from 50 to 19 in five years.