In the hands of an expert, a 12-feet-long wooden pole can glide a Viking longship effortlessly across Barrow Park Lake.

Under the headline ‘Viking invasion takes over Barrow Park Lake’, The Mail reported that the Imperial Hotel’s Team Three put their six opponents to the sword in a Centenary Viking longship race in July 1998.

Their outstanding performance contrasted with one sunken team which came ashore in the life raft and three others who were so determined to finish that they fell or jumped into the cold water to pull their boats home.

The longship race was part of the annual Evening Mail/NSPCC Family Fun Day.

Youngsters lapped up the fairground rides particularly the steep descent of the inflatable Circus Slide.

Meanwhile, Sporty, Scary, Baby, Posh and Ginger were out in force doing their best impressions of their beloved Spice Girls at the fun day.

Costumes were particularly inventive with trademark jungle prints for Scary, bunches and a back pack for Baby and anything as long as it was black for Posh.

But the dancing really made the difference. The line-ups who really went for it won the highest marks with the judges and crowd.

Kung Fu kicking Sporties impressed but the top place went to the solo Baby Spice by Jessie Conway from Millom who danced through Wannabe.

In the junior section three eight-year-olds, Kirsty North, Zoe Vick and Brittany Ritson, stole the limelight with the judges, Barbara and Denise from the Barbara French School of Dancing and the Evening Mail's editor Sara Hadwin.

Spice Girl hit Stop was the favourite among the younger challengers but Spice Up Your Life was the choice with the older groups, who whooped it up to the routines of the famous group.

Their efforts helped to raise hundreds of pounds in sponsorship for the Evening Mail NSPCC appeal.

The Mail's photographers had also been present to record a similar fun day held in 1997.