THIS week’s look into our archives takes us back to this day 16 years ago - when police raided a cannabis factory in Port Glasgow and seized £300,000 worth of marijuana in what was described as one of the largest hauls discovered in the west of Scotland.

A massive manhunt had been launched to capture the gang behind the operation.

A team of detectives and uniformed officers swooped on the disused property in an industrial estate in Devol after a tip-off by residents.

Inside the den they found a record 1,000 cannabis plants, but the ‘growers’ had fled.

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Detective Inspector John Dearie, of Greenock police, said at the time: “This is one of the biggest cannabis factories in the west of Scotland and it is an excellent result.

“This is cannabis cultivation on a small industrial scale.

“It’s not just somebody using it for their own personal use, they were running this as a business, and it would have had an effect on lots of young people in Inverclyde.”

Elsewhere, ghost hunters were being asked to volunteer for a spooky night at Gourock’s ‘haunted’ Gamble Halls to raise cash for charity.

Lifesaving leukaemia charity The Anthony Nolan Trust was inviting Tele readers to spend a night in the old building — if they dared.

The Gamble Halls were built in 1874 and have a rich historical past.

Some people claim they are haunted following a number of ghostly sightings.

It is said objects are often moved around the building and staff often feel they are being followed.

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Meanwhile, a Second World War air-raid shelter which ‘no bomb would penetrate’ looked set to become a star attraction on a heritage trail in Port Glasgow.

The shelter runs under tenement flats in Bouverie Street near the Gourock Ropeworks, and landowner River Clyde Homes was carrying out a feasibility study into the future of the area, including the shelter.

Campaigners hoped if the study was positive, then the bunkers — which once sheltered up to 1,000 people during German air raids — could be transformed into a permanent museum.

Kay Clark, heritage officer at Port Glasgow community centre, 7½ John Wood Street, heard about the shelter while interviewing former Ropeworks staff.

She told the Tele: “It’s an exciting find and we hope it could form part of a heritage trail along with Newark Castle and the Ropeworks to promote the history of Port Glasgow.”

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In other sports, a group of 60 Rainbows and Guiders from Larkfield and Port Glasgow districts enjoyed a fantastic 21st birthday celebration at Kelburn Country Park, Largs.

The sun shone and the midges bit, while the girls had great fun at the adventure playground and in the secret forest.

A walk round the glen let them see the beautiful pictures that cover the castle walls.

The cake, decorated with a special birthday badge and sparkler star candles was enjoyed by all.

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In sport, Morton continued their pre-season build up with a useful workout against a side nicknamed The Lawyers — but the jury remained out as manager Davie Irons continued to assess his trialists.

Four of them featured in the starting line-up for this friendly at the Ironworks Road Ground.

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Ex-Rangers kid Chris Smith was joined at the back by one new hopeful, while two more lined up in midfield.