Work began on a new £600,000 school for Endmoor when pupils helped to ‘lift the first sods’ at a special ceremony, The Westmorland Gazette reported in April 1989.

Chair of the governors Olive Clarke described it as a ‘momentous occasion’ and said history was being made. Headteacher Ron Scrase said a great step forward had been taken.

The new school would be built in a field next to the village playing fields.

The Diocese of Carlisle would meet the cost of the building work initially, before claiming grant from the Government. But the community would also help pay for the school and a £50,000 appeal was launched at the ceremony.

It immediately received a boost when the Rev Peter Smith handed over a cheque for £1,000 from Preston Patrick Church Council.

The school has been campaigning for new premises since 1986. But Mr Scrase said the first attempt to get a new building had been made back in 1946 and there had been several other attempts since then.

Parents had been concerned because the school was overcrowded and flooded during heavy rain. Children faced a half-mile walk to playing fields and a 200-metre trek to the canteen, a former First World War drill hall.

The ceremony on April 1, 1989, was attended by parents, teachers, governors and many of the school’s pupils. Mrs Clarke thanked everyone who had helped in the campaign for a new school, including the Preston Endmoor New School (PENS) group, the parish councils, the Diocese of Carlisle, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Michael Jopling and county councillor John Trotter.

Launching the £50,000 appeal, she said: “Fifty thousand sounds a lot but it is not if we do it together and we are doing it for our children.”

A special committee had been set up to co-ordinate fund-raising and social events.

Mrs Clarke said she was confident the community would reach the £50,000 target. “This is a wonderful village. We are used to fund raising and paying for what we want and know we need.”