STEPS were being taken around the county 25 years ago to close or amalgamate education sites to cut back on hundreds of surplus places - and one of those to go was in Barrow.

The Mail, on Wednesday, July 13 in 1994, noted: "Boxes were stacked and bags packed as South Newbarns infants prepared to say goodbye to their old school.

"From September the infant and junior schools will amalgamate at Newbarns Primary School.

"At a special assembly to mark the last day yesterday pupils sang and talked about headteacher Jean Park, who is retiring.

"Mrs Park also received leaving gifts and flowers from staff, parents and pupils.

"Cumbria Education Authority proposed the merger two years ago to get rid of 300 surplus places.

"The infant school has been closed and the new school will be housed at the old junior school."

Mrs Park said: "I have been at the school for 18 years and will be sad to leave.

"The last day with the children was very enjoyable. It was a good way to go out."

The presentation to Mrs Park was made by the school's oldest girl Charlotte, seven, and the youngest boy Bradley, four.

Youngsters played a major role in getting everything packed away ready for the big move.

There were heaps of big boxes - all carefully marked with labels showing what was inside and which room it was to go to.

The dust din't have long to settle on the redundant school buildings as they were being demolished during January 1995.

A loyal staff member at the nearby Newbarns Junior School also decided to retire at the end of the summer term in 1994.

The Mail, on July 18, noted: "A teacher who stayed loyal to the same school for her whole career is finally hanging up her cap and gown to retire.

"Lilian Holmes started at South Newbarns Junior School straight from teacher training college 39 years ago."

Also going was Peter Cooper, the headteacher at St Bernard's School, Barrow, after 17 years and colleague Valerie Jacques, the head of music, after 30 years at the school.

Retiring from Barrow Sixth Form College was Barry Baker, head of craft, design and technology.

He had been at the college since it opened in 1979 and had started his teaching career at St Aloysius School, Barrow.