Category Archives: industrial heritage

Ask the fellows who cut the peats

  “I just went and asked for a job – I fancied gaan cuttin’ peat. The foreman said, ‘I’ll take you up on the moss’ – and what a walk it was! A big wide open space, peat stacks everywhere. … Continue reading

Posted in bogs and moors, coastal heritage, conservation, industrial heritage, wetlands | Tagged , , ,

The Solway viaduct

The Solway is as smooth as silk, the water slipping in around the embankment that points a stubby finger towards Scotland. We have reached the embankment’s distal end by stepping and teetering along the sloping wall of dressed red sandstone … Continue reading

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The Walls of Parton

‘Are you looking for the old port?’ The man seemed to have appeared from nowhere, yet he was tall and strongly built, white hair sticking up straight, not easy to overlook. ‘Port?’ I was bemused – I’d been poking at … Continue reading

Posted in coal, coastal heritage, fossils, industrial heritage, ports, sandstone, slag-banks, stones | Tagged , , , ,

Freshwater mussels in the West Cumbrian coalfield

The late Norman Hammond once told me that he used to go out in his boat to count the basking sharks when they came into the Solway. One time, he was motoring off Fleswick Bay near Whitehaven during a coal-miners’ … Continue reading

Posted in coal, fossils, industrial heritage, sea-bed & undersea, shells | Tagged , , ,

Sandstone, ‘smooth as walnut turned on a lathe’

“Fine sandstone is quite silky, you get a crisp image, the maximum sculptural effect. With sandstone there’s no reflection of light to distort what you see.” Sky Higgins, sculptor. “Red St Bees’ is a fine-grained stone, dull red in colour… … Continue reading

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Ship’s-keel scaur: but whose keel?

On a warm, calm evening in May, at a low Spring tide, Ronnie Porter led me along the shore at Allonby. As we walked, he showed me the various rocky scaurs and boulders, and he told me their names. Near … Continue reading

Posted in Allonby, coastal heritage, industrial heritage, ports, ships | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Snippets 5: Angels, salt and shroud-pins

Pat Bull unlocked a peeling black door and showed me into a small brick-walled room. On the plain wooden table which almost filled the space were small polythene bags and boxes, labelled in black feltpen with numbers and letters. At … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, coastal heritage, industrial heritage, Snippets | Tagged , , , ,

The design of the Solway: an aerial perspective, part 1

To understand how something works, you need to understand not only its design, but its interconnections and interactions with its surroundings. So it is with the Solway Firth. My ongoing fascination with the Firth’s ‘design’ is why I have recently … Continue reading

Posted in aerial views, coastal heritage, industrial heritage, ports | Tagged , , , , , ,

The volcanoes of Workington

The colours of pebbles on the shore range from grey and ochre through green to blue, and the eroded cliff is banded orange and purple and red, like a section through an old volcano. Pebbles are bubbled with cavities, though … Continue reading

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