Soldiers of the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment visited Queen Katherine School at Kendal in 1986 as part of an exercise designed to strengthen ties with local people.

Thirty men attached to the regiment’s First Battalion, which was stationed in Northern Ireland, were visiting Cumbria and north Lancashire on a Keep the Army in the Public Eye tour.

Half the team was made up of the Regimental band and at some school presentations, young musicians were given the chance to join in and play.

The soldiers also presented a video of army life.

Also in 1986, talented art students at Queen Katherine School and two of their teachers, who had designed their own Christmas cards, were hoping their contributions to the festive spirit would bring a tinsel-time boost for school funds.

Each packet, priced at 50p, comprised five different designs. The money to back the project was provided by the school’s PTA and printers Abacus (Colour Printers) Ltd, of Lowick, agreed to run off 10,000 cards at a special concessionary rate.

'Winter Sunshine’ was designed by 15-years-old Lisa Robinson; ‘Joyeux’ by Jackie Longcake and Anita Rogers, both 18; ‘The Itch’ and ‘Pastoral Care’, by teacher Peter Clark; and ‘Noel’ by teacher Ian Burke.

The idea for the Christmas cards came from a parent. Mr Clark explained: “We received a letter during the summer holidays from a parent who was extremely impressed with the work of the school’s art department, so we decided to use the talent we have here.”

Mr Clark said the cards were ‘selling like hot cakes’.

“At this stage we are just hoping to cover our costs,” added Mr Burke. “If we sell 75 per cent then we will break even. But that remaining 25 per cent could realise as much as £250.”

That money would go into the Queen Katherine School Fund to provide anything from headache pills for the first aid box to petrol for the school minibus.

The art department was already looking ahead to the next year when it hoped to be even more ambitious.

"What we would eventually like to be able to do is print our own cards," said Mr Burke.