In 1997 a Dalton pensioner who had lived opposite the Roxy Cinema all her life had saved some of the ornate stonework for posterity.

The last remnants of the Roxy had been demolished in September 1997 to make way for a supermarket.

May Rule, 86, asked Hindle’s, the demolition contractors, if she could have some of the decorative stonework from the building’s façade.

She was delighted to discover three pieces, depicting fruit and flowers, on her doorstep.

“I just kept looking at the building and thinking how I would like to have a little bit to remember it,” she said.

Of the demolition, she said: “It’s a shame the façade had to go as well.

"It was a real decorative feature of the town. The Roxy was something distinctive which no other town or city had. But it’s gone now.”

Miss Rule’s family had lived in her Market Street home since the 1870s and she remembered when the Roxy was re-built in 1936.

“I think my family will have seen it built up from nothing. They remembered when there was a brewery there and a stream running under the houses to it.”

Miss Rule planned to use the pieces of stone in a garden display but said it would be nice if a museum had a piece of the stonework.

In another story from The Mail's archives, undated but likely to have bene from around 1997, it was reported that the sight of the waste ground where Dalton's Roxy Cinema used to stand had inspired schoolteacher Paul Rigg to write a book about the place.

Mr Rigg, deputy headmaster of Lostock Hall High School in Preston, was born in Barrow and his first job was as a rewind boy helping at the Roxy in the early 1960s.

It was Paul who, with the help of his father Bill, showed the last film ever screened in the Roxy, on October 31, 1965. It was The Legend of Young Dick Turpin.

Paul's latest book, Flickering Shadows, recalled those final days of the cinema.