THIS week we're flashing back to what made the headlines in the Ayr Advertiser in May 2003.

Do you know anyone in these photos?

Ayr Advertiser: Labour and Tory Leaders, Andy Hill and Gibson Macdonald, square up

CONTROL of South Ayrshire Council looked set to be decided on a cut of the cards, after Labour and the Tories emerged with 15 councillors each at a dramatic election count.

A narrow majority by the Labour Group was wiped out when new Tory candidate, Tony Lewis snatched control of the Coylton ward - and was joined shortly afterwards by Hywel Davies, who took Tarbolton, Symington and Craigie by just 51 votes.

As the buzz mounted at the count at Ayr’s Citadel, one by one each ward was returned according to plan, leaving a ‘hung’ council, split evenly between the 30 wards.

The stalemate left the two main parties with a dramatic choice: to share power, or effectively toss a coin for the council leadership.

Labour seemed to be moving towards a coalition plan, but the Tories seemed prepared to take their chances with a 50/50 cut of the cards at a council meeting.

Ayr Advertiser: Darius meets fans in Ayr in 2003

DARIUS visited Ayr last week to meet fans and take part in a radio programme for West Sound.

The Glaswegian, who finished third behind Gareth Gates and Will Young in last year’s Pop idol competition, was a winner in his own right thanks to a string of catchy hit singles that catapulted him to stardom.

With an album and tour to promote, the amiable Darius chatted to West Sound DJ Alan Shaw and played some tracks off his new album.

Darius was pictured with fans outside the studio.

Ayr Advertiser: MP George Foulkes and MSP Cathy Jamieson at the anmial welfare centre

AYR’S Animal Welfare Centre won a six-month reprieve from the axe.

In a statement released on Thursday, bosses at the SSPCA revealed they were postponing the planned closure of several of their centres across the country - pending a further review later in the year.

An immediate package of cost-cutting measures was unveiled, which was due to slash £350,000 of savings for the cash-strapped charity.

News that the closure had been averted was welcomed by George Foulkes MP and MSP Cathy Jamieson, who visited the Ayr base.

Mr Foulkes said: “When Cathy and I visited the Ayr centre, the SSPCA national representatives said they hoped a postponement would be possible and I am delighted they have delivered on their promise.”

Ms Jamieson added: “This is a welcome decision which will give everyone time to look into ways in which alternative finance can be found to keep the centre at Ayr open.”

Ayr Advertiser: Alloway Primary's 2003 cross country stars

ALLOWAY Primary School pupils once again demonstrated their cross-country talent by clinching two medals at the Scottish Primary School Championships.

Seventeen young runners took part in the event at Kirkcaldy on April 26. And the Primary 6 Girls’ Team won the silver medal in their section of 29 teams, while the Primary 7 Boys won Bronze, in a tough contest of 39 teams.

Ayr Advertiser: The Alloway girls cross country winners

The school were delighted with the result and commended all the pupils for giving 100 per cent on the day. Particular thanks also went to all the parental support received for the event, in particular from Mrs Ann Gifford and Shelley McNish for their ‘first class assistance’.