July 15, 2008 at 21:42 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Bourneville (in Birmingham) and Port Sunlight (on the Wirral) are better known but Barrow has its own late Victorian model estate on Walney: showpiece housing set amongst plenty of greenery, provided for the workers by the paternalistic Vickers shipyard. Presumably these elegant houses overlooking the Channel were for the higher-status workers and they fetch a pretty price even today.

Oh yes: the estate is called Vickerstown. Any resemblance to the Vicarstown of WW Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine books is entirely deliberate. The reverend gentleman conceived his island of Sodor as a much enlarged Walney filling most of the space between Barrow and the Isle of Man.


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  1. Bourneville, beautiful place and yes as a brummie I know it well. Didn’t know of this place.
    Part of the old diocese and of the island came under the term sodor. I keep meaning to do a Thomas the Tank engine post for a laugh, so thanks for reminding me.

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