The annual WRVS Christmas Appeal was given a tremendous boost by Glaxo’s Christmas toy collection in 1994.

Staff at the Ulverston site donated toys which were then renovated in the Apprentice Training School.

It was the 31st year of the toy collection, which provided good-quality gifts for needy children in the Furness area.

“The best part about toys from Glaxo,” explained WRVS regional organiser Mary Jackson, “is that we don’t need to check them before they go out – we know that has already been done.”

The WRVS was able to provide toys for 138 children in the Furness area thanks to the Glaxo contribution – which also donated toys to the National Children’s Home Family Centre in Barrow.

In 1995 a crack team at the Glaxo Wellcome factory in Ulverston was at the forefront of the race to find a treatment for the killer disease cystic fibrosis.

The company was bidding to develop a drug in aerosol form to prevent the build-up of a sticky mucus in the lungs.

Glaxo employees Angela Scrogham, Dave Watson, Louise Barnett and Jane Williams were working together under the leadership of Andrew Slade to find a gene therapy drug.

Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs, pancreas, digestive tract and reproductive system. The disease occurs when a child inherits a defective gene from both parents.

Team leader Mr Slade spent six months with a research group at Glaxo’s plant in Greenford before returning to Ulverston with his findings and had been working with the team at North Lonsdale Road since March.

“Our work over recent months has yielded less than a gram of the drug and obviously we have to look at ways of scaling up the operation to be able to produce larger quantities,” he said.

Five local schools were given computers by Glaxo-Wellcome in 1995.

The schools – St Mary’s Primary, Ulverston; South Walney Infants; Our Lady of the Rosary RC Primary, Dalton; Penny Bridge and Holy Family Primary - were the latest to receive personal computers from the Ulverston factory.

The firm already had a policy of handing on computers each time technology was updated. Several schools had already received equipment and there was an established waiting list.