Home Brew

August 31, 2008 at 20:14 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Here’s a memento to one of Barrow’s old home-brew pubs.

The sign is on the side of a not-terribly enticing place now called Healey’s in Hindpool Road. I don’t know who Healey is, unless this is a reference to 1970s Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis, but I think it’s more likely to have been part of a 1980s vogue for renaming pubs “Madge’s” or “Sid’s”. Either that or it was the 1990s vogue for hibernian names but in that case it should surely be “Healy’s” or “Hely’s”.

Anyway, Healey’s pub has seen better days but this sign, from when it was the Devonshire after the local landowner and investor in the new town, is even more neglected. Which is a shame, as I’m sure George Samuel Heath kept a good cellar if his expansion is anything to judge by.

Pole Squatter

August 30, 2008 at 22:38 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pole squatter in Dalton Road

The cabaret in Dalton Road this Saturday was provided by this chap. A commentary on passers-by (with particular reference to female ones) appeared to come out of nowhere. Until you looked up and saw him poised above the shopping throngs. Judging by the box of juggling kit on the ground at the foot of his pole, it seems reasonable to guess that he was providing other entertainments too.

The Crown

August 29, 2008 at 21:21 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Crown

This is the pub in North Scale. I haven’t actually been in there – not for a very long time anyway. Like many Barrow pubs it used to serve the excellent beers by Hartleys of Ulverston. Although the name lingers on, Hartleys brewery was bought out by Robinsons of Stockport many years ago and the beers of that name are brewed beside the Mersey.

North Scale

August 28, 2008 at 21:58 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

North Scale

North Scale contains what must be some of the oldest surviving buildings in the former County Borough area (there are older things in Dalton, now incorporated in the existing borough).

It’s amazing how quickly a very urban scene can be a bucolic one. It’s all superficial, however. These old farm buildings are now private residences.

Yard List

August 27, 2008 at 19:58 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yard List monument

The monument to all the ships built at Barrow stands in front of the Dock Museum in North Road. The land it stands on was once the northern end of the channel that separated Barrow Island from the mainland. All ships are listed expect for many of those built during the Second World War – too many of them.

While we’re here, have a look at that wall on the left. Design to suggest the rolling ocean waves.

Sorry this is brief, and for no post yesterday. Feeling a bit crap.

Walney International Airport

August 25, 2008 at 16:28 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walney International Airport

Passengers for Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Moscow please get off the bus here!

It was once possible to catch a scheduled flight from Walney airfield, but not to that range of destinations, and not any more. The airfield (which I haven’t featured yet, but have patience) was built by Vickers and now belongs to Vickers’ successor, BAE Systems. It’s used for BAE internal flights and the local gliding club.

Meanwhile, most of the Airport direction signs have been discreetly taken away (the one at the Walney end of the bridge only a few months ago) but this one, attached to the bus stop in North Scale, remains waiting to be consumed by the hedgerow.

Heavens, it’s hard enough to find a bus going to this stop. The kind of people who live in North Scale are much too posh to be seen on a bus!

North Scale

August 24, 2008 at 18:42 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

North Scale

This is one of my favourite Barrow views.

The photo was taken from the edge of North Scale, one of the two original settlements on Walney. This is the point where the road curves away from the edge of the Walney Channel to climb the hill through the village. At the top of the hill is the Crown pub, which is the turning point when I do one of my 30-40 minute runs up this way. (On longer runs by this route I carry on by Cow Tarn Lane to West Shore and beyond.)

Looking south-east from here you see the channel with its boats, Walney Bridge in the middle distance, and Barrow Island (giving some idea of the extent of the shipyard which completely dominates it.)

Yes, that public footpath sign really is pointing out into the channel. North Scale existed as a farming community long before there was a bridge, or even a ferry, connecting it to the mainland. At low tide there is a causeway that can be crossed on foot, and that of course is why North Scale is where it is. As it was part of the Furness Abbey estates, presumably produce was taken by the causeway to the abbey (which I haven’t even touched yet, there’s a treat to look forward to) or maybe to market at Dalton.

Signal Box

August 23, 2008 at 20:18 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Signal box in the park

This old signal box has been transplanted from its old home down by the docks to the middle of Barrow Park, where it now controls busy junctions on the Furness Model Railway Club’s minature railway.

How much control is needed seems doubtful, given that

1. The single track just goes round in a circle, and
2. There’s a bloody great gap in it – see foreground.

No doubt somebody will be along to explain all.

Parade Street

August 22, 2008 at 19:32 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Parade Street

One striking thing about Barrow town centre is how many people actually live there.

The middles of many towns and cities have been taken over by commerce, with residents being driven out to peripheral areas. In some cases efforts have been made to bring life back into the centres by creating apartments from old warehouses. But in Barrow, the shops are punctuated by streets of terrace houses, and even houses in between the shops.

Parade Street, leading from Duke Street towards the docks, looks almost too perfect, like a film set for gritty 1930s and 40s dramas. Which it has been from time to time. Those doing the filming have to be careful to avoidf the ubiquitous Devonshire Dock Hall, mind.


August 21, 2008 at 16:49 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Cenotaph, Barrow Park

In yesterday’s picture you saw the cenotaph at the top of its hill in Barrow Park. It was another lovely afternoon today (these things have to be noted in this most miserable of Augusts) and here we are on top of the hill, with the cenotaph in the foreground, looking out towards the slag bank.

My Uncle Charlie, lance-corporal in the Lancashire Fusiliers, is named on the plaque.

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