IT was the height of coolness to be a rapper 25 years ago, so one Ulverston school decided to let a pair of very modern pupils record their own special message for the telephone answering machine.

The Mail, on December 5 in 1994, noted: "Sir John Barrow pupils Melanie Bower and Nicola Kelly, both 10, rose to their headteacher's challenge to come up with an interesting answer-phone message.

"The two girls decided to try their hands at a rap song to stop people hanging up."

Headteacher Doug Lowes said: "I was told my voice is fairly boring so I decided to ask the children to do something.

"I asked them to come up with an idea to stop people hanging up.

"Most young people can't be bothered to leave a message so we wanted to keep people's attention."

The rap you could hear on the school's telephone machine was:

"This is Sir John Barrow School.

"The staff and children are so cool.

"Don't hang up or there will be a wreckage.

"We are looking forward to your message."

Young rapper Melanie said: "Nicola and I are good friends so we decided to have a go.

"It took us about a week and we kept changing it until we got it right."

A more traditional school activity at Sir John Barrow 25 years ago was to look after the garden - and it resulted in an award.

The mail, on September 6 in 1994, noted: "The mayor of Ulverston, Cllr Janette Jenkinson, presented a special certificate of merit from the Cumbria in Bloom organisers.

"The children attend a gardening club each Wednesday at the school and received special mention from the Cumbria in Bloom judges.

Club members who got to meet the mayor included Steven Collins, Samantha Moore, Lisa Athersmith, Rachel McGregor, Katherine Beckham, Kimberly Johnson, Joanne Parrington, Beth Bleasdale, Hannah McGregor, Lisa Booth and Louise Ramsden.

The children got a chance to get up close with wildlife in March 1995 when there was a visit from Ulverston's Keith Barrow.

He brought in a boa constrictor, two corn snakes and a 14ft python as part of a science project by the pupils.