The main shopping drag, about a week ago. There’s the Spirit of Barrow statue, and the inevitable crane in the distance.
Barrow now has its own Polish community and when the Poles come, sooner or later some of them will open shops to service the community with food and magazines from home, information about jobs and travel, and general gossip. This shop is in Rawlinson Street.
This should be good news to the host community. The Polish shops are often the best thing to happen in food availability for many years. Much of the stuff is familiar goods in unfamiliar, vowel-deficient guises, but a lot if it is not only not available in your local Tesco, it’s very good. Poland is very good at presereved things, so these shops are great for huge jars of pickles, sauerkraut and preserved fruits, sausages (żywiecka – sausage from Żywiec, like the beer – is my favourite but there’s a variety of different styles to try) and other forms of dead and cured pig, pickled herring, and so on. The chocolate-coated plums are very nice too. I am partial to the Vietnamese noodles, myself.
Unfortunately for the non-Poles in town, few of them seem, to be taking advantage of this cultural treat. Maggie’s isn’t the best I’ve ever seen – the established Polish community in Reading is awash with fresh deli where this one is all pre-packed goods – but definitely worth exploring, if only for a genuinely different shopping experience. Poles are well aware that their language appears to be (and is) formidable to outsiders but will be delighted if you try some basics – hello is dzień dobry (“jen dawbreh”); thank you is dziękuję (“gin queer”) and goodbye is do widzenia (“do vijenya”). Try it, you’ll like it!
Here’s a shot I took the other day along the channelside walkway.
The tide is well out (but coming in), and the Elainalee is grounded on the mudbank. In a couple of hours she will be riding high.
I’m not privy to the lives of the fisherfolk so I don’t know why the other boats have been moored out in the channel for the last week or so.
Anyway, it was a beautiful day with just a bit of autumn haze in the air. That’s North Scale across the water, and of course Black Combe in the distance with the bracken turning a beautiful gold colour. The building toi the extreme right belongs to Furness College.
I’m sorry, I’ve been neglecting you a bit lately. The truth is that I’ve been a tad out of sorts, but I’m better now.
On the other hand, I’ll be otherwise engaged this coming weekend. If I can work out how to autopost, I will. Otherwise, well, we shall see.
Meanwhile, in contrast to the so-called summer we’ve had some wonderful weather for over a week now. I was particularly struck this morning by the shadow of the big crane on the water of the dock.
I just thought the shipyard was looking good as the sun went down on a soft, sunny, autumn day. So I captured it.
I had business in Ormsgill this morning.
That’s not something you want to be able to say too often. But as ever, we take the opportunity to record a part of town there’s not often much need to visit.
Every sizeable town has an Ormsgill. It’s usually tucked out of sight and out of mind; in this case up beyond the slag bank, adjacent to an industrial estate, and by-passed by the by-pass. It’s the place where the town sweeps out of the way its more troublesome citizens: the mentally-ill, the unruly, the drunks and the addicts. As well, it must be said, as perfectly decent people who haven’t been as lucky as they might have been.
You can tell an Ormsgill by the parade of shops with its windows heavily shuttered even while they are open for business.
I don’t find Ormsgill particularly threatening, but it is bleak and unwelcoming, and frankly a bit of a dump.
NB: I have reposted this because, having forgotten to put the photo in at first, CDP is ignoring it!
The following comment was made to the original post:
Aye it’s a grim place but as one inhabitant said to me today “Ormsgill city where the girls are tough and the boys are pretty.”
Somebody was asking about the decorative mouldings on houses in Parade Street. Here’s a closer look. This one has had one of the flowers picked out but it’s the only one, I think.
I don’t know of any other Barrow street that has these, and I don’t know the significance of them in this particular street. Perhaps somebody – Bill perhaps? – will offer some enlightenment.
Sorry about the couple of breaks lately. The truth is, once I’ve done a long run and then got on with things that need doing at home, the light’s starting to fail in the evening and I don’t get out to take pics. Anyway – I took this yesterday so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have posted it yesterday. Slapped wrists!
Anyway, one thing Barrow desperately needs is a decent greengrocer. It’s no good promoting the five-a-day ethos if you can’t buy the fresh veg, and despite what their PR people tell you, supermarket fruit and veg is expensive, crap and ecologically unsound. Ask yourself – does Gordon Ramsay buy his veg from Tesco? Does Jamie Oliver really get his from Sainsbury’s? Do they hell! Their customers wouldn’t stand for it.
There is one halfway decent stall on the market, but even that is fairly limited. To be fair, they do stress local produce including potatoes from Flookburgh just along the bay, and you don’t need to be all that perceptive to notice round here that there isn’t a lot of arable activity. And as the proprietor said to me yesterday, it’s hopeless trying to deal in fresh produce in a four-day-a-week indoor market. That’s why they’re moving to permanent premises at 219 Dalton Road from 1 October. Spread the word to anybody you know, he said. I said I’d put it on my blog. So here you are!
I was pretty busy yesterday and didn’t manage an entry. My apologies.
The mouldings around the windows of these buildings in Duke Street are characteristic of this corner of England, and in fact are one of the few features of Barrow that are more Cumberland than Lancashire.
Public advertising of tobacco products has been illegal for a good few years now. This end-of-terrace seems to have escaped the authorities somehow.