The service roads that run behind Walney terraces are generously proportioned, much more so than the ginnels, cracks and tenfoots of other northern towns.
This one is probably the most familiar to me from childhood. It’s the only one with a kink in it and it runs between King Alfred Street, where my Nanna and Granddad lived at number 26, and Dominion Street. 26 King Alfred isn’t visible here, being just round the kink on the left.
When I came back to Walney lots of things looked very familiar but this one eluded me for a while. Until, that is, I squatted down so I was the height of six-year-old me – and then it all came back.
Grovelling apologies to followers of this site. I’ve been unwell for the last quite a few days; not feverish and delirious ill but seriously asthmatic ill to the point where I could not only not get out with the Nikoff.
Anyway, just to be getting on with, here’s a shot of Bristol Street. Not a Bristol street, though the steepest street in Britain is in that fine city, but Bristol Street on Walney which nicely dispels any idea that because Walney is low-lying then it must be flat. You should try running up and down it, even without respiratory problems!
The old chapel on Walney Promenade, at the bottom of Natal Road/Church Path, is converted into a private house with – one imagines – magnificent views of the channel.
Many of the Victorian yard buildings are extremely attractive, especially now that the years of grime have been cleaned off them to reveal the local sandstone underneath. It’s to be hoped that this distinctive architecture will be respected as Barrow tries to reinvent itself. An awful lot of it has already gone.
That grime came from Barrow’s long years as an iron and steel town. Once it was filthy, but now the air is refreshingly clean (except when the freezing fog rolls in as it did a week ago, and asthmatics like me suffer from the traffic fumes in the temperature inversion.) Of course, one day I’ll finally have the Nikoff with me at the moment when the Roosecote Gas Terminal is spouting the distinctive orange fumes of nitrogen dioxide…
This Barrow Island pub seems to have been around forever, unchanged. It’s still open, too, although I’ve never been in there (I believe they run a team in a quiz league though, so it might be worth trying.)
The same can’t be said of its surroundings though. Once it was hemmed in by railway lines. Now it appears through the winter foliage of a public garden, and is overshadowed by the monstrous Devonshire Dock Hall.
The flats on Barrow Island, cleaned up in recent years (figuratively and metaphorically), look imposing in winter sunshine. Here we look the full length of Michaelson Road; from the Devonshire pub at the top end here to the Majestic Hotel on Schneider Square at the far end is a useful indicator when out running – it’s exactly a kilometre.
Barrow has been unusually quiet today. A significant slice of the population will have made the trip to follow Barrow AFC’s progress in the FA Cup against mighty Middlesbrough. Alas, the Bluebirds’ cup run came to an end, but with dignity and without disgrace as they went down 2-1. Now they’ve shown what they can do, it’s time they stopped playing like numpties in the Blue Square Premiership!
Two days into 2009 and the year has lost its seasonal hangover. The freezing fog that has blighted us for several days (making taking photographs a trial as well as the damp cold seeping through to the bones) has dispersed. The sun shone and temperatures rose to a couple of degrees above zero.
A lovely day, then, to get out to the shops by way of the Channelside. Lots of lovely things to see and snap, but I was taken by the pile of fishboxes piled up on the quay. I wonder how they got where they are – it’s not as if they are from Irish Sea ports after all. West of Ireland, mostly, and Pittenweem on the coast of Fife. Ah well, ours not to reason why!
I wonder if the various fishing coops offer a bounty for their boxes?
It’s a warm, still, October evening and the sun drops lazily over the Irish Sea behind Walney, as seen from Barrow Island. A perfect moment captured.
With this generous glass of Highland Park I wish all the followers of the Pie ‘n’ Mushies Blog a very happy and prosperous 2009, and may all your photographs be imbued with memories.