This week we are taking a look back at the big stories and pictures which appeared in the Ayr Advertiser in late October 2003.

Who can you spot in these photos from 20 years ago?

Ayr Advertiser: Fire

A pensioner was rushed to hospital and five other people were dramatically rescued after fire broke out in Ayr’s High Street in October 2003.

Firefighters from all over Strathclyde were scrambled to assist local crews after the blaze, which started at Cochranes Ironmongers, quickly spread to neighbouring shops and flats - trapping people in their homes.

John Holland and Leona Barnes had a near escape after firemen rescued them from their flat. Flatmate Heather MacFarlane - left, luckily chose to visit friends that evening.

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Ayr Advertiser: Players

The Ayr Players’ highly successful 2003 autumn production was Laying the Ghost by Simon Williams.

Taking the lead roles were Jack Pirie and Christine Stanley with supporting cast of Moira Allan, Sandra Poole, Lynne Porterfield and Isobel Miller – with a special appearance by Superman (Malcolm Wilson).

Following the closure of the Civic Theatre, the venue was once again Prestwick South Church Hall, Main Street, Prestwick.

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Ayr Advertiser: Twins

Monkton twins Marie and Angela Nowack both graduated from James Watt College with an HNC in Child Care and Education in October 2003. Marie is on the left of the picture and Angela on the right.

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Ayr Advertiser: Malcolm Sergeant

Teachers from Glenburn Primary School called into Malcolm Sargent House with donations from their Harvest Festival.

Pictured (left to right) are depute head Jessie Caldow, Len Collingwood and house manager and assistant head Eileen Alexander.

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Ayr Advertiser: The first flight between Prestwick Airport and Gothenburg in 2003

The first flight between Prestwick and Gothenburg left the runway in October 2003 - with a little help from a Swedish Christmas rabbit and Santa’s elves.

Gothenburg Airport sent across the cheery Christmas characters to help promote the new route launched by Ryanair.

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Ayr Advertiser: Lord of rings

Lord of the Rings enthusiasts got the chance to have some fun 20 years ago during a gaming session at Ayr’s Carnegie Library.

The youngsters got the chance to enjoy an evening trying out the table top role-playing version of the game, entitled Battle at Weathertop, which recreates the exciting battle scene between the Fellowship and the Ring Wraiths.