Former servicemen from South Lakeland were among those attending the Cumbria Ex-prisoner of War third annual reunion at The Tithe Barn, Carlisle, in 1991.

The event was organised by the Cumbria branch of the British Red Cros. More than 100 ex-POWs from all over the county, including some Germans and Italians now living in Cumbria, attended.

Reminiscences about working from 7am to 7pm then dancing the night away came tumbling out when seven nursery nurses met at Abbot Hall Art Gallery at Kendal in 1993, to relive old times.

During the war the house was a nursery school where women who had taken munitions and other war work left their children while they went out to work.

There used to be about 100 children at Abbot Hall every day with the exception of Sundays.

Nursery nurses used to sing to the children while they were waiting for their dinners in one of the downstairs rooms. Breakfast and other meals were prepared on the premises but dinner came from the canteen on Waterside. One of the girls was sent to push the dinner back to the nursery in a big steel container on wheels.

Babies came to the nursery from as young as six weeks old and Joan Railton - in 1993 Mrs Lyons of Preston - remembered that mothers used to be waiting for them to open up at 7am. The numbers increased when evacuee children came to Kendal.

The circle of grass where a sculpture stood in 1993 used to be a permanent wooden dance floor where different bands would come and play on warm summer evenings.

Most of the former nursery nurses remembered hurrying through their chores so they could change into their glad rags and go out dancing.

Organiser of the reunion was Marjorie Mashiter, of Sandside, who joined the nursery, aged 16, as Marjorie Gibson.

"I always wondered what happened to them all so I decided to find out,” she said.