In September 1995 Sir Cliff Richard flew into south Cumbria to open the latest phase of redevelopment at the YMCA National Centre, at Lakeside.

The singer landed in a helicopter at Low Park Wood, on the shores of Windermere, for the official opening of a new complex at South Camp.

The complex, including dining hall, kitchen, offices, staff room and sick bay, marked the end of a 12-year development programme costing more than £1.3 million to complete.

Sir Cliff, a patron of the YMCA, had been a staunch supporter of the project and he was delighted to open the "final piece of the jigsaw."

As he unveiled a commemorative plaque Sir Cliff said: "I think the whole thing smacks of wonderful ideas come to fruition."

The ceremony proved especially poignant for Anne Metcalfe, from Lowick Bridge, who masterminded fund raising for the project after plans were first drawn up by her husband Robert when he took over as director at the centre in 1981. Sadly, he had died from cancer two years previously.

Mrs Metcalfe said: "I thanked Cliff for coming to open the new South Camp, which cost £300,000. Most of the money was raised through charitable trusts."

Sir Cliff delighted onlookers by having a ride on a 200ft aerial runway and other outdoor activity facilities.

Among official guests were Ron and Barbara Bayliff, from Romney Park, Dalton. As members of the Cumbrian centre of the Caravan Club they helped raise hundreds of pounds for the building appeal during caravan rallies at the centre.

Tackling rope bridges and climbing walls, getting to grips with archery and raft racing were among the scores of summer camp activities for children to take part in at the Lakeside YMCA summer camp in 1997.

Youngsters could also take a trip down Windermere in the group canoe.

They also had the chance to try their hand at abseiling, shoot down the aerial runway or try out their team skills with a massive 'earth ball'.