Barrow in Furnace is beautiful. My only previous knowledge of the place was from the Chewits ad where a Godzilla-esque monster was eating the town – the tag line being ‘Chewits – even chewier than Barrow in Furnace bus depot!’
It’s a mixture of old Victorian houses, wide streets, parks, newer – slightly less pretty areas and a vast shipbuilding area that, in its heyday, employed tens of thousands of folk.
No monsters then.
I’d been a little wandered the previous day – taking routes off the main road which added hills and miles to my meander.
I also learned that when the map on my iPhone says ‘cycle path’ it means ‘and/or bridle way’
Hubert doesn’t like steep rubbly bridle ways.
It’s great to be able to blame an inanimate object for my own failings – I knew that giving him a name and his own personality would come in useful.
After the challenge of the hills though my legs were aching.
I’d had a couple of donations – an older woman stopped in Dalton and gave me the money for the exercise class she’d missed – I decided to indulge in a B&B.
I was really quite rancid and happy for a shower…and a bed…and Crimewatch…
The following day I realised there was a Mind drop in centre in Barrow, so I gave them a ring to see if it was ok for me to drop in.
It was – and it all went a bit Aden, Colin, George, Dale, Karen, Lorraine, Melanie to name but few.
Everyone had a story – everyone was welcoming – interested and interesting. I stayed there for hours – I had cottage pie for my lunch – I was given soap (a subtle hint?) and a number of donations to send me on my way.
And then Lorraine said,’Have you been to Piel island? You’ve got to go to Piel island!’ And proceeded to tell me about the holidays of her youth and the all round famous fiveness of the place.
Piel island is just off Barrow – with 4 houses, a pub and a castle…and a king…
Lorraine raced me down to the jetty where the ferry left from.
I piled on just as it was leaving. It was a small boat with no cover with an overall Hawaii five 0 feel.
No, I didn’t take a photo on board I was concentrating on remaining continent.
The lovely thing was that Lorraine – the admin worker – who does a bit of everything – was determined for me to have a slice of the wonder and fun she’d got from this wacky island.
She took a photo of me with everyone and then I was off.
Hospitality Mind in Barrow style.
Walk a mile