Furness Funhouse in Abbey Road, Barrow, opened its doors on January 21, 1994, after years of planning and getting specialist equipment together.

Under the headline 'Welcome to the house of fun', The Mail described it as a place where kids could bounce off the walls to their hearts' content.

Geoff Keane and Catherine Palmen were the brains behind the idea to install a children's soft play area with a ball pool, farm playground, slides, tubes and a biff and bash area complete with punchbags.

Mrs Palmen said: "We've see these play areas out of town and thought it would be a good idea to bring one to Barrow."

Three-year-old Peter Brewerton, of Ainslie Street, Barrow, enjoyed getting buried in the ball pit on the opening day, while Zara Tucker, also three, of Durham Street, Barrow, was excited to be at the Funhouse.

A year later, in January 1995, children showed up in force to help the Furness Funhouse celebrate its first birthday.

Under the headline 'Funhouse holds a happy first birthday party', The Mail reported that at least 200 youngster went along to the activity centre, in Barrow, for more than three hours of party fun.

There were balloons for the youngsters. Stephen Cotton, three, Lydia Buchanan, one and Jordan Buchanan, three, were among those celebrating the first birthday party.

There were raffle tickets for the parents. Every parent was given a number of tickets, according to the number of children they had brought along.

The winner received gift vouchers for two 60-minute sessions at the funhouse.

Facilities at the funhouse included bouncy castles, climbing ropes and ball pools and parents could watch while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Children aged up to ten were welcome and there was a special play area for the under-threes.

Benjamin Buzzard, aged two, enjoyed playing in the ball pool in the under threes section.