Dalton-in-Furness in old picture postcards

Dalton-in-Furness in old picture postcards

:   James E. Walton
:   Cumbria
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2344-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Dalton-in-Furness in old picture postcards'

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In the north-west corner of England, just to the south of the rugged hills and fells of the Lake District, a peninsula juts out into the Irish Sea. Centuries ago, this peninsula was known as Fore-ness, which can be roughly translated as meaning 'further promontory" ; today it is called Furness, and Da1ton is situated almost exactly in the centre of this fertile plain.

It is generally believed by historians that Da1ton's early rise to pre-eminenee in Furness was entirely due to its geographical position. In the lawless days of the first millenium A.D., piracy around the coasts of nortb-west England was commonplace, and many people Ieft their vulnerable settlements near the sea and moved inland for their own safety. Dalton, situated on a hill, and as far from the sea as any other vill in Furness, must have been an obvious choice for most people.

In the year 1127, Furness Abbey was founded litt1e more than a mile away from the town in the secluded Vale of Nightshade, then known as Bekansgill. Without doubt this was the most important single factor in creating and securing Dalton's position as the

capital of Furness, a situation which was to last for over four hundred years, until within the space of a century, the dissolution of the monastery and at least two severe epidemics of plague combined to impoverish and depopulate the town. For most of the seventeenth century, and until the middle of the nineteenth century, Da1ton was merely a small country town with its economy based firmly upon agriculture. After about 1840 however, following the discovery of workable deposits of iron-ore in the surrounding countryside, Dalton became a mining town and people from various parts of the country came here in search of work. Inevitably, as the population started increasing, the town started expanding, and its character altered completely in less than half a century to create the Dalton that we see today. Compared with the other towns in Furness, Barrow and Ulverston, Dalton seems to have been somewhat neglected by the photographers of the day ; either that or we have been more unfortunate than these places in that fewer old photographs have survived. Either way, the photographs presented in the follow-

ing pages form an important collection, inasmuch as it is quite certain that in ten years time, perhaps even less, many of them would have no longer existed; and for this reason alone, I would like to express my gratitude to the publishers for providing the initial stimulus, and creating the opportunity to preserve this visual record of old Da1ton. At this point, I would also like to thank all those people, too numerous to mention by name, who responded so magnificently to my newspaper appeal for old photographs, Without their help it would never have been possible to cornpile this book.

Having just implied that, in general, old photographs of the town are not too plentiful, it must be pointed out th at this statement does not include photographs of Market Place and the cast1e; for here it was, in the ancient part of the town, that most of the cerernonial activities took place, and of this small area there are many photographs to choose from. The unfortunate but inevitable result of this has been that Market Place is featured on several of the following photograp hs. However, a1though there might be some slight

justification in duplicating a picture of the same scene where the interest is focussed on the event, not the place, I have endeavoured here to show different aspects of this particular part of the town.

Finally, I would like to make a brief comment on the photographs and their order of presentation. With two exceptions they are all of the period 1880-1930. The exceptions referred to are: number 29, which is a very aId photograph, and believed to be the only one in existence showing this aId building; and number 69, which, although it slightly post-dates this period has been deliberatelyincluded because of its excellent portrayal of werking conditions in the local mines. Regarding the order of the photographs, the reader is first taken on a journey through the town, along its main raad. This is fol1owed by ceremonial events, then some views of the old part of the town, the cast1e and churches. The remainder of the book is devoted to miscellaneous views of streets, houses, schools and people, with various other minor classifications contained in the last few pages.

.M'"'' BRO""', ~l-TON IN FURNeSS.

1. To commence our pictorial tour of Dalton, it is only natural that we should begin at the boundary, which on this photograph is in the middle distance near the foot of the winding hili known as MilI Brow. Although undated, this photograph was probably taken about 1920, and shows the road between Dalton and Barrow at the point where it cuts across a valley, anciently known as Bekansgill, in which the dignified ruins of Furness Abbey are situated, To the left of the motor-evele and side-car at the foot of the hili, a quiet, picturesque footpath usually referred to as the Low Road, wends its way past the remains of Little MilI towards the ancient town of Dalton. On the opposite side of the road, the footpath continues towards Furness Abbey,


2. Taken in the early 1920's, the photograph shows the road leading into Dalton from the direetion of Barrow, before it was widened, An interesting feature is the sight of Poaka Beek flowing by the roadside. Today, this part of the stream can no longer be seen as it has been tunnelled beneath the widened road. Following the road along from the lower right-hand corner, it curves to the right past the Green School, then to the left over what was anciently known as Bow Bridge, and then joins Market Street by the side of the White Horse Inn. The turning on the left leads to Goose Green, passing the stone-built circular enelosure known as the pinfold, where in days gone by, stray anirnals were lock:ed-up until clairned by their owners.


3. Looking east along Market Street, the newer growth of the town is visible extending principally to the north (left) of the main road. Although not clearly visible on this photograph, the parallel rows of houses in the distance were built in the middle or late nineteenth century to house immigrant workers who came to Dalton to work in the iron-ere mines. The building occupying most of the pavement half-way down Market Street on the left, was formerly a smithy, and can be seen in greater detail in the following photograph, Further down the hill past the srnithy, the old brewery buildings can be seen on the right, A1though undated, it is clear that this photograph must have been taken between 1903 and 1912.

4. The detached building at the top end of Market Street, with a fine selection of bill-posters on its gable end, was probab1y erected in the eighteenth century, although for what original purpose it has not been possibie to determine. In the early part of this century it was used as a smithy, and was Iocally known as Naylor's smithy although for many years part of the building was a sweet shop. It is believed to have been demolished in the early 1920's. The doubie-fronted house on the 1eft was the home of Mr. Gilbert HartIey, who also owned a clothing shop further down the street. Behind the smithy is a large barn-like building, a visual reminder even today, of a time more than two hundred years ago when Dalton's main street consisted almost entirely of small farms.

5. Here we have another view of part of Market Street. This photograph was taken about 1909, and is of particular interest because the out-buildings belonging to the old Dalton Brewery are visible in reasonabie close-up on the right. The brewery existed on this site for more than fifty years, and photographs of it are extremely rare. Towards the end of its life, and after many unsuccessful attempts to sen the business, it was finally disposed of in 1911, when it was bought by the Dalton Urban District Council for demolition as part of a road widening scheme. The shop just visible on the extreme left does not exist today, but used to belong to T. Hunt, a confectioner. The winding nature of the mam road is obvious on this photograph and is a clear indication of the antiquity of the town,

c'JYtarket Streef, Vaffon-in-dUl'neSS

6. This postcard is post-marked 1905, and shows part of Market Street as seen from the foot of the hili leading up to Market Place and the castle. Not long after this photograph was taken, the projecting forecourt on the left was removed and the building was converted into a cake shop and café, later famous as Jervis's Refreshment Room. The white stone building facing the camera was the office of the Lancaster Banking Company, situated on the corner of Nelson Street and Market Street. It is believed that the shop on the right, behind the man holding a barrel, belonged to Mr. Cottam, who was a mine agent and sold the necessary perquisites for this trade, including dynamite. Today, the premises belong to a newsagent.

7. This view of Market Street in 1905 shows the wide frontage of the Wellington Hotel, viewed from an acute angle on the left. In the distance, close to the Bank of Liverpool, is Gladstone Square. The furthermost building shown on this photograph was Joseph Fisher's farm, now demolished and the site occupied by a surgery, Another feature which has disappeared from this landscape is the house with the high wall at the far end of the shops on the right. The shop adjacent to this wall, where the post-office stands today, belonged to J.P. Rees, a cabinet-maker, and next door to him was J. Fisher, a painter and decorator. The nearest shop belonged to the Cumberland Hosiery Company.

8. This photograph was taken from the far end of the road shown in the previous picture, but looking back in the opposite direction towards the Wellington Hotel. According to the postmark, this card was posted in Dalton in 1924, but it seems likely that the photograph was taken several years before this. Note the window cleaner working at the bank on the corner, next door to the shop belonging to T.M. Kay, This shop existed here for many years, from at least 1906 to the early 1930's, and sold a wide range of useful goods including tooIs, toys and bicycles, Next door to him was a shoe shop, and then the post office. Of the two shops with their sun blinds drawn, the furthest one belonged to Mr. Armistead, a chemist. The next one is unknown.

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