FIFTY years ago the first pupils were getting used to their new surroundings at St James' RC School in Millom.

The new primary school, on the former Royal Green and allotments, cost £25,000 and was to replace a much smaller school building nearby.

Around 60 pupils became the first pupils at the new school after Easter in 1969. The headmaster was Mr O'Neil Wilson and the architect was Mr J.Dean.

The Mail, on March 23 in 1996 noted that a dozen pupils from the school had been invited to give a presentation at the Houses of Parliament.

It noted: "They will speak about how the school council has developed, deal with issues such as school bullying, improvements to the playground and school uniform.

"They schoolchildren also drew up a code of behavious to be signed up by all pupils."

Pupils stood in order to spell out the letters VE on the playground in June 1995 as part rehearsals for a stage show at the Palladium with a Second World War Victory in Europe theme.

The show was a way of bidding farewell to Norma Date who had been a teacher at the school for almost 20 years.

In July 1996 pupils were getting ready to perform poetry at a major festival in Warwick.

The Mail noted: "The 36 children, aged from six to 11, in the choral speaking group, won their class at the South Cumbrian Music Festival.

"They were selected to take part in the Festival of Festivals on July 20.

"They will be reading a sad poem called Mrs Malone and a funny one called Dog in the Playground with small groups and individuals reciting different parts."

Youngsters helped to plan and design their own English country garden in the school ground in 1994.

The Mail, on September 14, noted: "A wasteland was transformed into a tranquil garden over the summer holidays.

"Workers from Haverigg prison put up a new fence, archways and created linking paths to unite the whole garden.

"The also planted new shrubbery and bulbs for the spring."

Teacher Joyce Bosnan said: "The wonderful work party set to and transformed a barren waste area into a perfect play area.

"Without them the project would have been difficult to complete."

Millom's new police inspector David Turnough was a visitor to the school in October 1992 to hand out Cycling Proficiency certificates to pupils.