Back Street

January 15, 2009 at 23:16 | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments


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.



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  1. I honestly don’t think another country does back alleys like the UK. Do you use the word ginnel?

  2. That is wide for a back street!

    Babooshka – I use ginnel, but use it for smaller pasageways between streets – shortcuts. That’s what we say in Leeds anyway. In York, they are snickleways.

  3. I would imagine that this little backstreet has seen a bit over the years!

  4. As far as I know, in Barrow they have always been back streets. In Liverpool they are cracks, in Hull they are tenfoots and in other places I can’t quite recall, but possibly in the Manchester area they are ginnels. A Hull snicket is something different, a passageway between houses connecting streets.

  5. How marvelous, no graffiti!!!

  6. absolutely love this shot. Reminds me of countless British movies I have seen through the years.

  7. I got told off for called back alleys “ginnels” in Ashton! A ginnel there is specifically supposed to be a tunnel-like passage through a terrace, with one of the bedrooms going over it.

  8. I’d say that was a snicket, Martin.

  9. I love this picture! It has so much to tell when you study it.
    Here’s one of mine
    and another;
    and finally

  10. Great Pic can just smell the sea air of HOME and hear the seagulls cackling .Would like to know though after working in most towns in the north west why BARROWS back streets are so wide

  11. have you seen Davie’s Of Time and The City? Many shots of rowhouses like this. Just Shouts UK to me….love it.

  12. Very nice. I also like the design of the buildings on the right.

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