How memories contribute to identity


Memories from a visit to the Blists Hill outdoor museum plus feelings of identity standing in a Cumbrian field have awakened even more intense memories that I am sure have a lot to do with my past 6 months family history research. Rolling all of these things together takes me back to when we had … Continue reading How memories contribute to identity

Ancestors forged in iron!


The only sounds now are the calls of the Jackdaws in the swaying rustling trees and the gurgling of the River Duddon just 50 metres away. Once, these woods reverberated to the pounding of hammers, the squeaks of wheelbarrows, the swish of a water wheel, and the roaring of an early Industrial Revolution iron blast … Continue reading Ancestors forged in iron!

Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!


Between 1855 and the end of that century a number of significant events occurred that impacted on the lives of my ancestors, and directly on my own life too. They placed our lives within a context, a history of the times, something which I am finding to be the most interesting part of my family … Continue reading Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!

#52Ancestors: My “first” ancestor knew his onions!


Having put a stop to my manic and unstructured efforts at genealogy, creating a rather narrow family tree disappearing into the mists of time, I have now settled down to more thoroughly research each ancestor. Apart from my parents, both deceased, the first and easiest is my maternal grandfather, someone I knew and spent a … Continue reading #52Ancestors: My “first” ancestor knew his onions!

1. Steel and the death of a Cumbrian community.


1. A Personal Tale of Steel …. and it’s death!
How did the steel industry die an undignified death in Britain? What was the effect on communities? This is a repost of a personal story that was to repeat itself 15 years later and kicks off 3-4 articles about the disappearance of steel manufacturing and its history. It will be followed by a Reblog from a follower who recently visited a closed but preserved steelworks in Alabama, USA.

Buddha walks into a wine bar ...

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It was largely elemental work -with fire, water and earth and [this author’s perception is that] it tended to shape the characters of those who undertook it -and lots of blast furnace workers were more than a little alarming to encounter at first meeting, but few were anything but totally transparent, moral, straightforward and, above-all, kind, caring and sociable individuals.
Quoted from Norman Nicholson:A Literary Life, by David Boyd.

The Ironworks at Millom in Cumbria was much more than the economic furnace of the town, it was the heart and soul of the community. And when the fire of the last blast furnace was extinguished in 1969…… the community died too!

img_1306My grandparents migrated to Haverigg towards the end of the 19th Century from Cornwall, a tin mining family who sought work, a new life, survival, as the tin mining industry declined and died. They brought their mining skills, their…

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