THE sun brought out the crowds as music fans sought out the best vantage points on the grass for a Rock in the Park event in the summer of 2002.

An article in The Mail, on Thursday, July 25 in 2002, looked ahead to the event and noted: "Local live music promoters Unity may be staging their last event in Barrow Park this weekend - depending on the weather and the arguably more dependable nature of local music fans."

Unity's Colin Chatfield said: "Unfortunately Unity have been losing funds due to the number of park gigs which have been cancelled because of bad weather.

"Although we are a non-profit organisation we still have to pay a public liability insurance for each event we stage in the park and hire out PA equipment.

"If people do not come along and support this weekend's event, we may not be able to renew out policy, which runs out next Monday."

Lined up for the Rock in the Park afternoon of music was 12ft Machete, Five Mile Smile and Nana's Revenge.

Also due to visit was Leamington Spa band Gash.

Music had been a feature for visitors to Barrow's public park since Edwardian times.

The old bandstand had been demolished but in 2002 there were grand plans to create a replacement.

An article in The Mail, on July 26, described plans for a major renovation of the park - with the help of £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery and £700,000 secured by Barrow Borough Council partnerships.

It noted: "Central to the project is the rebuilding of a £150,000 Edwardian-style bandstand surrounded by about £90,000 worth of shrubs.

"The designs have cost more than £40,000 and work should begin before next summer and take up to 12 months to finish.

"Then on sunny Sunday afternoons Barrovians will once more be able to follow in their grandparents' footsteps and stroll around the park, hire a deckchair and relax listening to brass bands."

Barrow Town Hall estates manager Steve Warbrick said: "It's taken a long time to finally get the money but we are very pleased that the grant has been finally approved and we can finally start work."

The project would see bridges, footpaths and the boating lake returned to how they looked when the park opened.

Barrow's war memorial, at the highest point in the park, was to be cleaned and more than £30,000 spent on new flowers, shrubs and trees.

The park's greenhouses were to be restored and opened to the public and a new lease of life given to the old boathouse and ornamental shelters.

It was planned to build a new pavilion costing £190,000.